Apr 29, 2024
Pennsylvania group highlights asparagus variety

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) 2024 Gold Medal Plant winners, includes a high-yielding asparagus variety.

Asparagus officinalis ‘Millennium’ is a stem vegetable that produces uniform, tight tipped, tender spears with excellent flavor. It is hardy and easy to grow. It prefers full sun and loose, organically rich, evenly moist, sandy, well-drained soil. In addition to the edible shoots, asparagus produces attractive ferny foliage that turns yellow in the fall before going dormant in winter. Asparagus officinalis ‘Millennium’ grows up to 3-5 feet tall and 1-3 feet wide. It is disease, deer and drought resistant and grows in hardiness zones 3-10, according to the the PHS.

Asparagus officinalis ‘Millennium’
Asparagus officinalis ‘Millennium.’ Photos courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The Gold Medal Plant Program was created by PHS in 1979 to celebrate and showcase beautiful, easy-to-grow plant species that are ideal for home gardening. Each year, a committee of horticulture experts convenes to assess trees, shrubs and perennials on various criteria including their suitability for home gardens in the mid-Atlantic region, their ease of cultivation, ready commercial availability, wildlife value, weather tolerance, and pest resistance.

Since the program’s inception, PHS has named more than 150 Gold Medal Plants. Including this year’s winners, all plants are indicated for their hardiness in zones 4 to 8 on the USDA’s hardiness zone map, making them ideal choices for the Mid-Atlantic region.

“The PHS Gold Medal Plant program provides amateur and professional gardeners alike with unique plant species suggestions to help refresh their gardens with easy-to-grow, hardy perennials, trees, shrubs and edibles, many of which also bring ecological function to the garden and benefit local wildlife,” Andrew Bunting, PHS vice president of horticulture, said in a news release.

More about this year’s Gold Medal Plants, as well as previous year’s winners, is available at PHS’s online database.


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