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EVALUATING THE LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE OF ORNAMENTAL HERBACEOUS PLANTS USING A QUESTIONNAIRE-BASED PRACTITIONER SURVEY
Dr.Noel Kingsbury, associate of the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield ABSTRACT Extensive knowledge concerning the long-term performance of ornamental herbaceous plants is widely distributed amongst professional and amateur practitioners on an anecdotal basis. Much of this knowledge is not necessarily included in relevant reference literature. Using a questionnaire-based survey technique, experienced gardeners were asked to assess a selection of common ornamental herbaceous perennials for key longterm performance criteria: longevity, type of vegetative spread, competitiveness and tendency to self-sow. The potential of this methodology for future research in this area is emphasised. Clear agreement on the assessments of many species was found. Most performance criteria put the species mentioned by participants on a gradient, with marked differences between extremes. A number of issues are raised which are of concern for the cost-effective and sustainable management of public spaces, regarding some taxa: short-lifespans, aggressive spreading, high levels of self-seeding, slow establishment. Key words herbaceous perennial, planting design, plant longevity, competition,

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1
1.1

INTRODUCTION
Background

Trees and grass have traditionally provided the essential framework of urban parks worldwide, with high-visibility sites planted with annual bedding. Herbaceous perennials in particular can seem an attractive additional option, as they can offer a long season of floral interest, the element of seasonal change, and unlike annual bedding with its yearly costs of planting and removal, considerable savings in maintenance costs. Generally speaking, the few herbaceous plants in public spaces were traditionally organised into narrow borders, but recently there has been much interest in a more extensive use of herbaceous ornamentals in public space (Hitchmough 2004), which has been closely linked to a style of planting that can be described as ‘naturalistic’ or ‘ecological’. There is nevertheless a continuing use of more conventional planting style. The work of Piet Oudolf in particular has raised the profile of a use of herbaceous perennials which is distinctly contemporary but not self-consciously ecological (Kingsbury & Oudolf 2005). Nevertheless the more extensive use of herbaceous perennials, and indeed any wider use of plant diversity, is limited by the low level of horticultural skills in much contemporary landscape management practice (Hitchmough & Thoday 2003). There is also a reluctance to use herbaceous perennials because of there being little knowledge of their long-term performance: amongst specifiers such as the landscape design profession, landscape managers and clients. Knowledge of long-term performance is to be found amongst horticultural professionals, but it is a knowledge which is more relevant to private or intensively-managed landscapes, such as private gardens or the grounds of visitor attractions where there are sufficient budgets (of time or money) to maintain at a high level (Rice 2006). It is this problem of lack of knowledge of long-term performance which this study aims at addressing. A reluctance to use herbaceous perennials on the basis of lack of knowledge regarding their long-term performance is fundamentally a problem of costmanagement – specifiers concerned with budgets will be reluctant to specify anything which may either die or become so invasive as to require frequent management. Given the resource inputs involved in growing and transporting nursery stock, it is also important for sustainability that the longevity and performance of herbaceous plants in designed landscapes is such that these resource inputs are minimised, e.g. by reducing the need for replacing dead plants after only a few years. Cost-effective, but at the same time ornamental, functional and bio-diverse herbaceous-based plantings can only be developed if specifiers can assure clients that there will not be negative impacts on maintenance costs within a few years of installation, and that what they are proposing is seen as a good investment.

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1.2

Aims and objectives of the research

Aims • To investigate the long-term performance of some common ornamental herbaceous perennials, and the implications of this for cost-effectiveness planting design • To trial a methodology enabling knowledge transfer. Objectives • The design and evaluation of a questionnaire-based survey to gather data on the long-term performance of herbaceous plants. • To provide guidance on the long-term performance of the subject plant taxa. • To outline the problems and potential of future research on long-term plant performance and on the use of a questionnaire-based survey in future research.

1.3
1.3.1

Issues of long-term plant performance

Lifespan Herbaceous plants have long been classified as annuals, biennials and perennials, with the definition given by Griffiths, as “a plant lasting longer than two years”(Griffiths,1992, Glossary p.l) being widely accepted. However many perennials are frequently described as “short-lived” or “long-lived” (Thomas 1976). This failure to address a fundamental issue, that of longevity, can be regarded as a serious weakness in the language used by horticulture professionals. If some species can be described as ‘short-lived’ or ‘long-lived’ there is the clear implication that others might be ‘mediumlifespan’, i.e. that there is a gradient of lifespan. Lifespan has been little researched, work done at Weihenstephan in Germany being notable (Hansen and Stahl, 1993). Horticultural literature, whilst using epiphets to describe lifespan, is almost never precise about how many years herbaceous perennials might actually live for. Hitchmough 2003a discusses longevity, and relates the issue to CSR plant functional groups (Grime 2001), and discusses one important correlation very important for the long-term development of herbaceous plantings, the link between relatively short lifespans and a tendency to produce plentiful seed. 1.3.2 Vegetative spread and competitiveness Spread (the potential diameter, or horizontal growth ability of a plant), is a very useful piece of information for planning any kind planting. Much horticultural literature however gives little quantitative information; Thomas 1976 for example does, Rice 2006 does not. Hitchmough 2003a usefully discusses some broad categories of the nature of herbaceous spread. The degree of vegetative spread is clearly related to the degree to which a plant will cover ground (usually seen as desirable for aesthetic reasons, as well as functional, e.g. weed suppression). ‘Ground cover’ is an essential term describing the functional aspects of certain species in landscape horticulture (Thoday 2003, MacKenzie 1997). However, in other circumstances too rapid or far-reaching a spread may be seen as problematic if other varieties in the planting are overwhelmed; the word “invasive” is frequently used to describe such plants, for example Thomas 1976 uses the word 58

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times in the course of the book. Competition is clearly related to degree of spread, but in ecological science it has a precise meaning, related to the ability of a plant to succeed at the expense of others, and to be able to effectively utilise high levels of resources more effectively than other (Grime 2001). Both competition and vegetative spread are closely related to plant morphology, in particular to the degree and nature of clonality (Herben & Hara 1997, Klimes et al, 1997). Despite the importance of these issues to ornamental horticulture there has been little serious work done on relating them to issues of plant selection or management; Kingsbury 2008 attempts to relate morphology to competitiveness and to plant selection for ecologically-based planting schemes. 1.3.3 Speed of establishment

Species which are slow to establish, i.e. to begin to increase in size once planted out in their final positions, are noted by writers on garden plants – the default position being that herbaceous plants establish quickly, usually with a substantial increase in size in the second year after planting; Thomas 1976 draws attention to species being slow or difficult, Gerritsen & Oudolf 2000 refer to plants being “slow-growing” which in horticultural terms amounts to the same thing. No authors give any quantitative data on speed of establishment, e.g. by size reached after x number of years, as is done for trees and shrubs in Davis 1987 or for climbers in Davis 1990.

1.3.4

Spread by Self-Seeding Recruitment through seeding (here referred to as self-seeding) is crucial for herbaceous perennials in the wild, but levels and rates vary enormously from species to species (Grime 2001). The same is observed in ornamental plantings. Thomas 1976 and Gerritsen & Oudolf 2000 are amongst many garden books which discuss self-seeding as being partly desirable, but easily problematic, if a species recruits so effectively that others are overwhelmed visually or functionally. Self-seeding is seen as desirable in the new-style naturalistic planting (Kingsbury 1996) even if it was not in conventional gardens, but it has been very little written about, Pfälzner-Thomsen (1995) is one of the few who has made any kind of systematic survey; Kingsbury and Oudolf 2005 discuss it briefly. High levels of variation in rate and effectiveness of self-seeding are noted by practitioners, but there has been no quantitative or extensive systematic qualitative survey.

1.4
1.4.1

The nature of knowledge concerning plant performance
Reference sources

A useful outline of sources of information on plant performance is given in Hitchmough 2003b. Most English-language horticultural reference literature makes reference to only the most basic information about plants’ ecological requirements: for light, soil moisture and/or good drainage requirements, hardiness and calcareous or acid soil preferences. Little information on the issues pertinent to long-term performance above is given. What is supplied is inevitably unquantified, unsupported, anecdotal and often vague. Mentions of longevity, competitiveness and self-seeding are given for some species but not others – it is thus not systematically treated.

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‘Profiles’ of genera are frequent in horticultural magazines, aimed largely at a nonprofessional audience, the ones appearing in the RHS journal ‘The Garden’ and ‘The Plantsman’ are the most detailed and thorough – they are never comprehensive or systematic however. The reference material in books and magazines is never attributed or supported by citation, except in the most informal and unsystematic way. It is generally assumed that information given is either the result of the author’s direct experience or has been included by the author from existing reference material.

1.4.2

Trials

Formal plant trialling is the only way in which specifiers are able to gain independent advice on plant performance. In the UK, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) runs trials at its headquarters in Wisley, Surrey. Until recently, the only long-term trials carried out were on a list of plants (border carnations, garden pinks, chrysanthemums (garden and under glass), daffodils, dahlias, delphiniums, perpetual flowering carnations, irises and sweet peas) of very little relevance to contemporary public (or for that matter private) design practice. Every year, there are ‘invited’ trials for specified taxonomic groups of plants, which can run from one to three years. Trial grounds are regularly visited by various trials sub-committees who are responsible for giving awards to outstanding plants, and compiling reports. The Award of Garden Merit is given for “outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use”. (RHS 2008). There is no standard set of protocols in use for the assessment of plants in trials. Plants are compared with each other, with the focus being on the selection of outstanding taxa which will make better garden plants than other comparable taxa (Hunt, L., personal communication). In The Netherlands, there are no independent trials, although nurseries conduct their own trials (Oudolf, P, personal communication). In the German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) there is a trialling system based on 17 sites, chosen to represent a range of climatic and soil conditions; funded and administered by a network of tertiary education institutions. Plants may be pre-trialled for two years, before the start of a formal three year trial (Arbeitskreis Staudensichtung n.d.). Evaluations are carried out using a detailed form (Institut für Stauden und Gehölze 1999). 1.4.3 Communities of knowledge Published information on plant performance is supplemented by informal exchanges. Professionally this may take the form of more experienced garden staff passing information onto newer recruits – the core of a traditional apprenticeship system. Amongst non-professional gardeners there is an extensive and lively informal exchange of information – between people brought together by being neighbours, being related, or by friendship. An important part of British horticultural life is that of horticultural societies – the vast majority of which are locally organised; although relatively few members have extensive experience. There are however some larger groups with a membership which includes many experienced gardeners; the Hardy Plant Society (HPS), is particularly notable, with some 9,000 members, overwhelmingly amateur but with a very high standard of horticulture; their focus is largely on herbaceous perennials. The HPS, though a national organisation, also acts as an umbrella for some 45 groups organised on a regional basis. These groups meet regularly, organise outings to gardens, plant

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fairs and act as a very lively locus for informal information exchange. British nonprofessional horticulture can therefore be described as including a complex of interlocking communities of knowledge. Similar bodies and informal networks exist in The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. The German Gesellschaft der Staudenfreunde (Society of Perennial Enthusiasts) is comparable to the British HPS (Gesellschaft der Staudenfreunde 2010).

2
2.1

METHODOLOGY

Outline of research strategy Given that there is little systematic primary data on long-term plant performance (over three years) – this being understood as data gathered directly from a reasonable sample of plants using uniform criteria, and that gathering such data from trials involves a heavy consumption of space and time, it is proposed here that an alternative to gathering primary data is to gather secondary data, this being understood as practitioner experience of plant performance. This would be collected by means of a written questionnaire. The collection of secondary data can be seen as the collection of the anecdotal evidence of plant performance which is exchanged in the communities of knowledge described in 1.4.3 above. It can be assumed that, up to a point, the more contributors of data, the more the descriptive of reality the resulting data is (Kittur et al. 2006). The aim of this research is to gather secondary data on plant performance from a variety of sources, and present it in a quantifiable form, thus formalising what was previously scattered and unquantified. Since, given the extensive communities of knowledge present amongst British amateur gardeners, this data collection an also be represented as a knowledge transfer from a diversity of private realms to the public realm. 2.2 Designing a practitioner questionnaire A questionnaire was devised which aimed at enabling participating practitioners to evaluate plant performance across four key variables: longevity, vegetative spread, competitiveness and self-sowing. The rationale for these, in particular their relevance to the issue of cost-effectiveness is as follows: Longevity. Plant death involves unattractive gaps in planting, and costs in replacing. Vegetative spread This may be a valued aspect of a plant taxon if it serves a function, e.g. ground cover, but may represent a potential problem if growth is so rapid or extensive that surrounding species or areas of hard landscaping are covered, and thus require management. Competitiveness Similarly, this may be valued e.g. where weed suppression is desired, but inter-species competition in mixed plantings may result in loss of less competitive components of a planting, with a consequent negative impact on visual appeal and expenditure of management time in limiting growth. Self-sowing. Where species are short-lived, recruitment through seeding may be seen as desirable. However if large numbers of seedlings compete with other species present in the planting or which begin to grow in adjacent plantings or in areas of hard landscaping,

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this presents a management problem. It is suggested that these four factors are largely genetically-determined traits (Kingsbury 2008), although their level of expression may be partly determined by environmental factors. Participants were invited to evaluate the performance of included species by selecting from a gradient of values. The length of time the respondent had grown the plant was sought, with the request that only species where the respondent had grown the plant in the same place for at least five years be included. Five years is somewhat arbitrary, its main value being that is a longer period than any trials conducted for herbaceous plants. Information was also sought on the basic ecological conditions of respondents’ gardens. This was not in fact used in data analysis as there were not enough examples of a range of different garden habitats to make this viable; it may however be a useful guide for further investigation. Its should be noted however that herbaceous plants have a tendency to be generalists (Crawley 1997), and those widespread in cultivation even more so. The core questions of the questionnaire were: See appendix 1 for the full questionnaire.
Longevity For each species give a score: 1 = very short-lived, rarely more than 3 years 2 = short-lived, 3-5 years 3 = medium-lived, plants may live 5 years or more, but suddenly disappear 4 = long-lived, plants appear to survive for ever Vegetative spread For each species give a score: 1 = not spreading, staying in same place 2 = slowly expanding clump 3 = strongly expanding clump 4 = spreading through occasional runners 5 = spreading strongly through extensive runners 6 = discontinuous spread, i.e. spreading outwards but older (1-2 year old) growth dying 7 = as above, but vigorously Competitiveness For each species give a score: 1 = very readily overwhelmed by neighbours or weeds 2 = readily overwhelmed, but with some ability to survive competition 3 = moderately robust, with ability to survive competition 4 = moderately spreading, ability to suppress or infiltrate neighbours, or resist weed encroachment 5 = characteristically aggressively spreading, suppressing or heavily infiltrating neighbours

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Speed of establishment For each species give a score: 1 = slow, acceptable plant size reached in 3 years or longer after planting 2 = moderate, acceptable plant size reached in 2 years after planting 3 = fast, acceptable plant size reached in first year after planting Spread by self-seeding For each species give a score: (Unless you always dead-head, in which case leave blank). 1 = never self-seeds 2 = rarely self-seeds, or seedlings rarely reach maturity 3 = moderate self-seeding 4 = extensive, even nuisance, level of self-seeding

2.3

Selecting species for inclusion Potential respondents were asked to select plants from a list of 96 taxa, with a suggested minimum of 20 (see appendix 1). These taxa were investigated as part of the author’s PhD thesis (Kingsbury 2008), and represent a range of generalist ornamental herbaceous perennials, all of them regarded as suitable for ‘ecologically-based’ planting schemes for averagely moist and fertile soils, where maintenance is intended to be minimal. The list includes species of a variety of growth strategies and lifespans. In many cases the taxa in cultivation covers a range of genetic diversity, ranging from material which is more or less identical to wild ancestors, through horticultural selections to interspecific hybrids. In order to ensure as much clarity as possible, respondents were asked to specify cultivar names if known. In addition respondents were invited to add any plants they felt should be included; this was done primarily in order to highlight any species which respondent opinion would highlight as possibly valuable, or at least worthy of further examination for future research. 2.4 Finding respondents Three broad categories of potential respondent were targeted: amateur gardeners, professional gardeners and proprietors of small to medium-sized nurseries specialising in herbaceous plants. The category of ‘professional gardener’ is itself a broad one, including: 1. self-employed professionals who manage several private gardens, 2. those responsible for a private garden 3. those responsible for a private garden which is open to the public on at least an occasional basis 4. those responsible for a private garden which is open to the public as a visitor attraction 5. managers of public parks. Early discussions resulted in a decision not to pursue 5. as plant knowledge, of herbaceous perennials in particular, seemed too low to make participation useful. Potential respondents were targeted through:

1. HPS - Hardy Plant Society 1, appeal in journal, and postal mail-shot to
1

The HPS, founded 1957, is an organisation aimed at promoting the growing of hardy perennials, largely amongst amateurs. It has approximately 9,000 members of whom around 8,500 live in the UK (Feb 2010). All receive the journal ‘The Hardy Plant’.

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secretaries of the 45 local groups who make up the society PGG - Professional Gardeners Guild2, appeal in journal RHS - Royal Horticultural Society3, appeal in journal Nursery - Email-shot to nurseries selected from the RHS Plant Finder. Gardens - Email-shot to gardens open to the public selected from the Good Gardens Guide 2008. In every case, where there was a response, garden staff filled in questionnaires. 6. Personal - Personal contact: colleagues and friends of the author active in horticulture. 7. Lectures - Attendees at public lectures or workshops run by the author who expressed an interest in participating.

2. 3. 4. 5.

The appeals in journal offered the authors’ address and email. Initial responses by email invited participants the offer of emailing responses or printing out forms and posting back. Those who wrote/emailed in requesting to be sent the questionnaire were then sent a copy, by mail or email.

3 RESULTS
3.1 Effectiveness of recruiting respondents 66 people responded with filled-in questionnaires. Of these two filled in more than questionnaire, as they gardened in more than one place – each location they gardened was treated as a separate response – consequently a total of 70 responses made up the
2

The PGG was founded in 1977, and is open to all those professionally involved in managing gardens, membership currently stands at around 1,000 (Feb.2010). All receive the journal 3 The RHS, founded in 1804, is open to all interested in gardening; it is primarily an educational charity. UK circulation of their journal, ‘The Garden’ is around 326,400 (Feb.2010)

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data set. Of the responses, 38 (out of 70) were received on paper, the remainder being emailed. Of those who responded on paper, only in 8 cases had all correspondence been by paper and postage. source contacts requests responses % response HPS 23 13 57% HPS group 17 10 59% RHS 18 10 56% PGG 2 1 50% nursery 77 35 7 20% garden 60 27 7 26% personal 23 23 17 74% lectures 9 1 11% TOTAL 154 66 43% Table 3.1 The figures here represent the means of making contact with possible respondents and the success level of getting responses. Source refers to the various means of making contact with potential respondents described in 2.4 above. Contacts refers to those who responded to an email-shot of potential respondents selected from a directory source or (in the case of ‘personal’) to a request to a personal contact. Requests refers to the number who requested a copy of the questionnaire, i.e. who answered an item in a journal (HPS, RHS, PGG) or a mail-shot sent to a local HPS group secretary for circulation within an HPS regional group, or to an announcement in a lecture or workshop run by the author. Responses refers to those who filled in the questionnaire. % responses refers to the percentage of requests that turned into responses. Given that this study is funded through a North Sea Regional project, any potential respondent in a climate zone with parameters broadly outside any of the climates to be found in the EU North Sea Region was rejected. In practice, this meant generally meant maritime west coast climate zones; thus the exclusion of Devon and Cornwall, English south coast to Hampshire, peninsulas of Wales, west coast Scoland; the Highlands of Scotland were also excluded.

3.1.1

Category of respondent

Respondents were categorised by level of professional involvement with horticulture. Amateur Designer Garden Gardener Nursery Writer owner Total

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40 4 2 9 10 1 66 Table 3.1.1 Amateur - those who do not make a living from their horticulture; in some cases however their specialist knowledge may be world-class. Designer – professional garden/landscape designers actively involved in managing their own gardens Garden owner – owners of gardens who derive an appreciable part of their income from the garden, and who actively work in it Gardener – those who work professionally as employees Nursery – owners/proprietors of nurseries, who maintain display gardens or stock beds Writer – garden media professionals 3.1.2 Overview of taxa discussed by respondents There is considerable taxonomic diversity to the plant taxa on the list: natural species, cultivars, interspecific hybrids and in some cases, plants of disputed origin. Some taxa distributed commercially under a simple binomial but which in fact are hybrids, The combination of level and number of plant taxa which respondents specified varied considerably. A species is only subjected to analysis if there are >10 responses. Amongst these are: 1. Multiple examples of a singly defined taxon, such as a species, cultivar or interspecific hybrid – these present an obvious case for analysis at the taxon level. Species where there are cultivars based on selections from the species are also included in the species count if numbers are <10. 2. Genera including multiple examples of one taxon and small numbers of representatives of a multiplicity of other closely-related taxa – it is proposed to separate out the taxon/a with >10 examples for analysis, the remainder being bundled for analysis together – comparison between a single taxon and a bundle of the remainder may indicate a distinctive character for the one/s most-widely reported. 3. An alternative treatment where no one cultivar has >10 examples, is to bundle all examples of the genus, the result being relevant only as an indication of the performance of the genus, ‘genus’ here being understood only as referring to the taxa in cultivation. In practice, the following category treatments are applied to cases of 2. and 3.: Achillea interspecific hybrids and Achillea millefolium cultivars. are treated as two separate categories. Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' and 'Japanese anemone ' types of lateflowering Far-Eastern origin other than A. x h 'Honorine Jobert' are treated as two separate categories. Brunnera macrophylla and Brunnera macrophylla cultivars are treated as two separate categories. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Crocosmia taxa other than 'Lucifer' are treated as two

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separate categories. Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea hybrids are treated together. Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’, and G. phaeum cultivars other than 'Samobor' are treated as two separate categories. Geranium x oxonianum types, are all treated together. Heuchera micrantha and hybrids are all treated together. Hosta, various taxa, are treated together. Kniphofia, various taxa, are treated together. Monarda hybrids, are treated together. A category of Pulmonaria officinalis cultivars are treated separately to ‘Pulmonaria, all taxa’ for some purposes. Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ is treated separately to ‘Rudbeckia fulgida, all taxa’ for some purposes. On this basis, a total of 62 species or groups of species/cultivars are produced, where there are >10 examples. 3.2 Summary of results Data for the 62 taxa or taxonomic groups included in the study are given in appendix 2. Raw data for all responses received is in appendix 3, with respondent garden condition data in appendix 4. Here, as summaries, are the means of the responses of the assessments for each performance category and the standard deviation from that mean. A caveat re. the interpretation of the means of assessment of vegetative spread is given in 4.3.2. Explanations for the assessment values are given above in 2.2, Two headings here cover comments on the taxa responded to: Identity If there is a need to clarify identity or comment on the possible range of genetic diversity in cultivation, or clarify the origin of hybrids. Notes Where there is a large disparity in participant responses (generally standard deviation >1.4) this is discussed, or where further explanation or discussion of data is required.

Acanthus mollis 33 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

4 0.2

2.9 1.4

4 0.9

2.1 0.6

1.7 0.9

Identity

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Some in cultivation are A. m. Latifolius Group (Turner 2009). This species is also often confused with A. hungaricus (Rice 2006). Achillea millefolium cvs. 12 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

2.8 1.1

2.6 0.8

2.7 0.8

2.1 0.3

1.7 1

Achillea interspecific hybrids 15 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

2.6 0.8

1.9 0.5

2.3 0.9

2 0.7

1 0

Identity Widespread confusion over origins and ancestry of many Achillea cultivars, complex hybridisation, some hybrids of doubtful origin placed under A. millefolium (Rice 2006).), itself a very polymorphic species with at least two sub-species within Europe (Tutin 1968). Notes All achilleas reported to be relatively short-lived, and uncompetitive, although experience appears to vary widely, particularly with longevity. Gerritsen & Oudolf (2000) discuss the unpredictable nature of these plants in the garden, reporting that greatest longevity occurred on a dry acid sandy soil. Aconitum napellus, and cvs. 16 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.7 1.7

3.3 1

2.2 0.8

1.4 0.3

Identity Divided into 5 sub-species, sometimes regarded as separate species (Tutin 1968). It is not known from which one/s the cultivated stock is derived. Notes Wide level agreement as being long-lived but much disagreement over level of vegetative spread – a high level of spread (category 6) was only observed by one respondent (59,60 – two gardens), she also thinks that the plant was wrongly labelled, possibly A.carmichaelii syn. fischeri).

Alchemilla mollis 54 responses

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Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.6 0.9

3.9 0.7

2.4 0.6

3.5 0.8

Notes Comments indicate that many respondents regard it as too aggressively seeding and too competitive. Amsonia orientalis 11 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.5 0.9

1.9 0.9

2.6 0.8

1.6 0.8

1.1 0.3

Anaphalis triplinervis, and cvs 10 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.7

2.5 1.0

3.0 1.0

2.1 0.5

1.1 0.3

Anemanthele lessoniana (Stipa arundinacea) 20 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.1 0.9

2.2 0.7

3.3 0.5

2.4 0.5

3.4 0.8

Notes At USDA zone 8, the hardiness of this species in northern Europe must be regarded as questionable, which may account for reduced longevity.

Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' 19 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.7 0.9

2.7 1.1

3.6 0.9

1.7 0.7

1.3 0.7

'Japanese anemone ' types other than A. x h. 'Honorine Jobert'

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19 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.4

3.1 1.4

3.5 1

1.7 0.7

1.4 0.9

Identity A. hupehensis var. japonica, in C17 Japan. A. x hybrida is A. hupehensis var. japonica x with A. vitifolia (Jelitto & Schacht 1990). Aquilegia vulgaris, and cvs. 37 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

2.6 1.2

1.4 0.5

3 0.9

2.1 0.7

3.6 0.6

Notes Noted as being relatively short-lived, although experience varies, with no clear agreement (see table 3.2.1 - 1), this is possibly due to seedlings replacing the original plant by germination very close to the (very narrow) crown, as respondent 26 notes “(n)ot really sure how long they live as they self seed to replace originals”. Vegetative spread noted as low, so level of competitiveness may reflect a strong tendency to selfseed, rather than competitiveness as per Grime 2001. Assessment No. of of Longevity, responses Categories 1 8 2 9 3 8 4 12 Table 3.2.1 - 1 Frequency of responses for assessment of longevity for Aquilegia vulgaris

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Artemisia lactiflora, and cvs. 11 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.7 0.6

2.5 0.5

3.4 0.7

2.3 0.6

1.5 0.9

Identity Long-established in cultivation, new stock was introduced in the (?)1970s from China under the name ‘Guizhou group’, reflecting the fact that this is not a cultivar but a group showing some genetic diversity. Aruncus dioicus 13 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.4 0.6

3.7 0.5

2 0.6

1.5 0.9

Identity Known to be polymorphic across its very extensive range, but stock in cultivation appears consistent. Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ 29 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.1 1.1

1.8 0.7

2.7 0.9

1.8 0.6

1.1 0.3

Identity A. amellus x A. thomsonii. Highly variable, both in terms of genetic and somatic heritage, plus confusion in the trade with A. x frikartii 'Wunder von Stäfa' and propagation by seed (Rice 2006). Notes A popular plant but not noted for being competitive or being quick to establish; although generally noted as being long-lived, many respondents report a more limited lifespan. In comments, some respondents notice mollusc damage, which may be a contributory factor to reduced lifespan in some gardens. Astrantia major and cvs. 42 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean

3.4

2.3

2.9

1.9

1.9

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Standard deviation

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.6

1.1

Notes Several respondents gave data for more than one cultivar, or stated in comments, that they had different experiences with different species. Given that this is a common European species, it is highly likely that multiple introductions have resulted in wide genetic diversity in cultivation. Baptisia australis 21 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.7 0.8

1.7 0.8

2.8 0.7

1.5 0.6

1.2 0.4

Brunnera macrophylla 24 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.6 0.9

3.5 0.8

2.2 0.6

2.6 1.1

Brunnera macrophylla cvs. 11 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.7

2.4 0.7

3 0.8

2.1 0.6

1.1 0.3

Campanula latifolia, and cvs. 13 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.4 0.9

2.2 1.1

2.9 1

1.9 0.8

1.6 1

Centaurea montana, and cvs. 21 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.7

3 1.6

3.6 0.7

2.5 0.6

2.5 0.9

Notes Generally reported as being strongly competitive, reports of vegetative spread are

§
very diverse table 3.2.1 -2 – this could reflect two possibilities: 1. That there is genetic diversity in the garden population, with some forms staying as a tight clump and some sending out guerrilla runners. Plants observed by the author (Kingsbury 2008) were all tight clumps. Rice 2006 and Jelitto & Schacht 1990 report some clonal spread; Gerritsen & Oudolf 2003 and Thomas 1976 make no mention of this. 2. That survey participants mistook seedlings for running ramets – the species is reported as self-seeding appreciably, or that the plants habit of collapsing its stems outwards after flowering, followed by regeneration from the centre (Kingsbury 2008) is mistaken for strong vegetative spread.
Assessment of vegetative spread 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 No. of responses 3 5 8 1 2 1 1

Table 3.2.1 –2 Frequency of responses for assessment of longevity for Centaurea Montana.

Cephalaria gigantea 24 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.7

2.5 1.1

3.3 0.7

2.1 0.7

2.2 1.1

Chelone obliqua, and cvs. 13 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.6

2.7 1.4

3.3 0.7

2.4 0.7

1.4 0.7

Notes Vegetative spread is reported very differently; since this is a relatively lateflowering species, the issue of collapsing stems post-flowering (as with Centaurea montana above) being misinterpreted is unlikely to be an issue. Confusion of the three species in cultivation (C. glabra, C. lyonii and C. oblqua) is likely, Thomas 1976, notes that C. obliqua produces running ramets.

§

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ 23 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.8 1

3.5 0.7

2.1 0.6

1.5 0.7

Identity C. masoniorum x C. paniculata

Crocosmia taxa other than 'Lucifer' 49 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.4 1

2.4 1

2.8 1.1

1.9 0.6

1.2 0.6

Identity Of very varied genetic origin, taxa other than ‘Lucifer’ are seen as shorter-lived and less competitive. Reports on 24 distinct taxa were received, with comments which indicated that reliability varies considerably - standard deviation of longevity assessments is high; given that frost-hardiness could be an issue with many cultivars (USDA zones 8-9), this is not surprising. Several respondents, in comments, also reported deterioration of clumps over time. Dictamnus albus, and cv. 16 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.1 1.2

1.6 0.9

2.4 0.9

1.2 0.6

1 0

Echinacea purpurea and hybrids 27 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

2.4 0.8

1.5 0.6

2 0.7

2 0.4

1.5 0.5

Identity Naturally variable, cultivars also variable as many raised from seed (Rice 2006).

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Hybrids may involve E. pallida, and E. paradoxa, (Rice 2008). Echinops ritro and cvs. 24 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.9

2.4 0.8

3.3 0.7

2.1 0.6

1.6 0.8

Euphorbia cyparissias and cvs. 26 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.5 0.9

4.4 1.4

4.3 0.8

2.6 0.7

1.4 0.8

Notes Widely reported as an aggressive spreader, with several respondents commenting that they regret having it in their gardens, it is instructive to note that the majority of respondents reported “spreading through occasional runners” but with a wide range of other assessments of vegetative spread. There are three possibilities here: 1. The level of spread through guerrilla ramets is noted as being heavily dependent on the density of surrounding vegetation (Kingsbury 2008) – the more dense the neighbours the fewer the ramets. 2. Spread is dependent on soil type – 3 out of 6 respondents who rated it less than category 4 for vegetative spread have heavy soil. 3. Genetic variation. Euphorbia polychroma and cvs, 22 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.5 0.5

1.7 0.7

2.9 0.8

1.8 0.7

1.5 0.9

Filipendula rubra and cvs. 11 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean

3.8

3.7

3.6

2.2

1.4

§
Standard deviation

0

1.3

0.6

0.5

0.7

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'
30 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.6

2.4 0.9

3.1 1

2.1 0.7

1.2 0.6

Identity G. pratense x G. himalayense hybrid. Precise ancestry uncertain, several similar plants grown under this name (Rice 2006).

Geranium phaeum, other than 'Samobor'
33 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.5 0.9

2.4 1

3.1 0.7

2.2 0.6

2 1

Identity Flower colour naturally variable. Common central European plant so multiple introduction and hence level of variation probable.

Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
12 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

3 1.5

3.7 0.7

2.3 0.6

3 0.6

Geranium pratense and cvs. 20 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

3 1.5

3.7 0.7

2.3 0.6

3 0.6

Identity Common central European plant so multiple introduction and hence level of variation probable. Geranium renardii and cvs. 21 responses

§
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.3 0.9

1.7 0.5

2.7 0.8

1.8 0.6

1.3 0.6

Geranium sylvaticum cvs. 16 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

4 0.1

2.3 0.4

3.2 0.3

2.2 0.3

2.3 0.9

Identity Flower colour naturally variable. Common central European plant so multiple introduction and hence level of variation probable. Geranium x oxonianum types
25 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

4 0.2

3.2 1.3

4 0.7

2.5 0.7

2.8 1.1

Identity Exists as a natural hybrid, much of what occurs in cultivation can be regarded as part of a dynamic hybrid swarm - many cultivars fertile(Rice 2006). Notes The wide variation reported in self-seeding is most probably explained by differential levels of fertile seed production by the wide range of crosses present in this genetically varied and complex group – essentially G. endressii x G. versicolor (Yeo 1995). Author observation for example is that ‘Claridge Druce’ self-seeds considerably, but others grown do not. Given that this is noted as a competitive species, and that it is highly regarded for recurrent flowering and ground-cover abilities (MacKenzie 1997), data on whether or not particular cultivars are potentially aggressive self-seeders is suggested as being potentially valuable. Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' 27 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

4.0 0.2

3.3 1.1

4.0 0.7

2.4 0.7

1.1 0.3

Identity H. pauciflorus x H. tuberosus. Natural hybrid, but origin uncertain (Rice 2006).

§

Helleborus x hybridus 55 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.4

1.8 0.6

3.1 0.6

1.8 0.7

2.9 0.8

Identity H. orientalis crossed with several other species. Complex genetic background founded on multiple introductions (Rice 2006).

Heuchera micrantha and hybrids
16 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

2.9 0.9

2.0 0.6

2.9 0.6

2.3 0.7

1.2 0.4

Identity H. micrantha, H. villosa and H. americana all used in breeding, (Rice 2006). Notes The range of experience with longevity may reflect either genetic diversity or the response of the plant’s habit of forming ramets which tend to grow out of the ground (Kingsbury 2008) to different soils or management – loss of vigour due to impeded rooting into substrates often appears to result. Given the increasing commercial importance of this genus, it is suggested that future research is needed. Hosta, various taxa 26 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

4.0 0.2

2.4 0.6

3.2 0.4

2.4 0.6

1.1 0.3

Identity Highly complex genetic heritage involving many species (Rice 2006) and a long history of cultivation in Japan.

§

Iris sibirica cvs. 21 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.7 1.2

3.2 0.6

1.9 0.7

1.4 0.6

Identity In cultivation often a hybrid, generally I. sibirica x I. sanguinea.Multiple introduction also likely (Rice 2006). Knautia macedonica, and cvs. 32 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.0 1.0

1.8 0.6

2.8 0.9

2.2 0.7

2.1 1.1

Identity Multiple introductions (Rice 2006). Kniphofia, various taxa 36 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.7 0.4

2.4 0.5

3.3 0.7

2 0.7

1 0

Identity Hybridise readily in the wild, many cultivars are seedlings of uncertain origin (Rice 2006). Liriope muscari, and cvs. 23 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

4.0 0.0

2.3 0.8

3.1 0.5

1.9 0.6

1.0 0.2

Lunaria rediviva 16 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.5 0.9

1.9 0.5

3.1 0.6

2.1 0.6

2.4 0.9

§

Lysimachia clethroides 22 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.5

3.6 1.4

4 1

2.4 0.6

1.2 0.5

Notes The wide range of vegetative spread reported is difficult to explain. There is no evidence of particularly wide genetic diversity in the European garden population. Respondent comments varied, with some suggesting that it was invasive, others (3 responses) that die-back was frequent. Two respondents indicated that they thought vigour was reduced in drier soils. There was however reasonable agreement that the plant is moderately competitive.

Lythrum salicaria, and cvs. 18 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.7

2.8 1.3

3 1.1

2.3 0.8

2.3 1.2

Notes A wide range of experience with the level of self-sowing indicates that this may depend on environmental factors. Author experience with growing the plant in two locations on similar soil (derived from the Old Red Sandstone formation) suggests that prolific recruitment through seeding is more likely on a wetter soil. Macleaya cordata 14 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

4.3 0.9

4.2 0.7

2.2 0.6

1.2 0.6

Miscanthus sinensis, cvs. 44 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding

§
Mean Standard deviation

4 0

2.6 0.9

3.5 0.7

2.1 0.8

1.1 0.2

Identity Highly variable species in the wild. Multiple introduction likely, and long history in cultivation (Darke 2007). Monarda hybrids 13 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

2.9 1.2

3.5 2.1

3 1.4

2.4 0.7

1.1 0.3

Identity M. didyma cultivars or of hybrid origin with M. fistulosa. Notes The exceptionally high level of disagreement over the level and character of vegetative spread, together with assessment of competitiveness and longevity indicate that this group of hybrids responds very differently to different environments and management regimes. There is no indication from the literature to suggest that plants of different genetic origins behave differently, and that all taxa in cultivation produce guerrilla ramets of annual duration (Rice 2006, Kingsbury 2008). Nepeta x faassenii, and cvs. 18 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.8 1

3.4 0.7

2.5 0.7

1.5 0.8

Identity N. mussinii x N. netella. Variable, possibly a cross made several times. Papaver orientale, and cvs. 41 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.6

2.3 1

3 0.9

2.2 0.5

1.2 0.5

Identity Hybrid complex : P. orientale, P. bracteatum, P. pseudo-orientale, often seedgrown so specific and cultivar names may be unreliable (Rice 2006). Persicaria amplexicaulis and cvs. 27 responses

§
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.4

3.7 1.5

3.9 0.9

2.3 0.7

1.3 0.7

Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' 14 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

4.1 1.1

4 0.8

2.5 0.5

1.2 0.6

Phlomis russelliana 24 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

3.3 0.9

3.9 0.6

2.5 0.6

1.8 1.2

Pulmonaria officinalis, and cvs. 19 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.4 1

2.5 1.2

2.9 0.8

2.1 0.8

2.1 1.1

Pulmonaria, all taxa 42 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.4 0.8

2.6 1

2.9 0.8

2.2 0.6

1.7 0.9

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' 11 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.7

2.7 1.3

3.5 1.2

2.2 0.8

1.5 0.7

§
Rudbeckia fulgida, all taxa 19 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.6 0.8

2.8 1.3

3.4 1.1

2.2 0.6

1.5 0.8

Sedum (Herbstfreude Group) 'Herbstfreude' 19 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.4

2.4 0.6

3.3 0.7

2.3 0.7

1.4 0.8

Sedum spectabile, and cvs. 15 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.7 0.5

2.4 0.8

3.0 0.4

2.4 0.6

1.5 0.7

Sedum telephium cvs. 14 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.4

2.4 0.6

3.3 0.6

2.1 0.5

1.5 0.9

Notes Minimal differences in assessments suggest that this interrelated group of plants of considerable importance in contemporary planting design can be regarded as very similar. Stipa gigantea 26 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.8 0.4

2.5 1.1

3.4 0.6

2 0.5

1.4 0.6

Thalictrum aquilegifolium, all vars. 22 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding

§
Mean Standard deviation

3.5 0.6

1.9 0.8

2.7 0.6

1.9 0.7

2.4 1.2

Veronicastrum virginicum all vars. 23 responses
Longevity Vegetative Competitivenes Speed of Spread by Spread s establishment self-seeding Mean Standard deviation

3.9 0.3

2.3 1

3 0.5

2.1 0.7

1.3 0.7

4DISCUSSION
4.1 Recruitment of participants

% source response HPS 57% HPS group 59% RHS 56% PGG 50% nursery 20% gardens 26% personal 74% lectures 11% Table 4.1 For explanation of categories see 2.4 and 3.1. As shown in table 4.1 the highest percentage response (i.e. returned questionnaires) was shown by personal contact, which would be expected. This is however not necessarily a replicable response, as it is dependent on the author’s particular position in the British horticulture community. The level of response of those who answered a request place in a journal was 50% or above, those who responded after contact through an email-shot, was lower. This can be explained in terms of the

§
psychology of contact – someone contacted directly by email is likely to respond positively to receipt of a questionnaire, but with a lower level of commitment to actually filling it in. An additional factor explaining possible reduced response amongst the two professional categories (‘nursery’ and ‘gardens’) is that these represent people with busy working lives and who consequently have less time or interest in filling in a questionnaire. Judging ‘quality’ of response is important, as this has a major bearing on the value of the data gathered. Quality is understood here to mean: accuracy of identification and accuracy of assessment of the various measures of plant performance described. The fact that only around 1% of the entries had to be rejected because of a clearly incorrect binomial (i.e. seriously mis-spelt name, or ‘ungrammatical’ in terms of the binomial system, or non-existent binomial) suggests that the data returned was of high quality. No attempt was made to categorise age or professional background of participants. However, from covering letters received, and intuitive judgements made on handwriting and other clues, it is thought that a high proportion were retired and/or elderly; several stated they were over 90. Several covering letters mentioned how much participants had enjoyed filling in the questionnaire, and that it had made them think more clearly about the plants they grew. Only one negative letter was received – the prospective participant wrote that she found the forms too confusing to use. Comparing the proportions of the membership of the organisations where appeals for participants were made revealed that approximately, 0.52% of the Hardy Plant Society, 0.2% of the Professional Gardeners Guild and 0.0005% of the Royal Horticultural Society memberships participated. The very low figure for the RHS compared to the HPS or the PGG, may have been due to the small size of the appeal relative to the rest of the content of the magazine, low readership of the section (news) that the appeal was placed in, or it may reflect the fact that the RHS is now a more ‘mass’ organisation, with a smaller proportion of knowledgeable gardeners than formerly. The use of email greatly reduced the workload involved in printing out copies of the questionnaire, and reduced postage costs.

4.2

Relations between categories surveyed

SS SE C VS L

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx 0.2567 xxxxxxxx 0.5433 0.1597 xxxxxxxx 0.7913 0.5526 -0.025 xxxxxxx 0.5103 0.6998 0.2519 -0.05 L VS C SE SS L = Longevity VS = Vegetative spread C = Competitiveness SE = Speed of establishment SS = Tendency to self-sow Table 4.2 Correlations between means of respondent assessment of performance categories of the species surveyed (shown as rs values), using Spearman rank method

§
Vegetative spread is shown to be strongly correlated with competitiveness – which given that vegetative spread is a key factor in a plant’s ability to compete with neighbouring plants (Grime 2001) is not surprising, although as noted in Kingsbury 2008 there is a possibility that observer assessments may confuse vegetative spread as cause with competition as effect thus resulting in a circular reference. Longevity is also noted as showing a distinct correlation with competitiveness and vegetative spread – this could be explained by longevity being an expression of effective competitive response (for a discussion of competitive response in annuals see Goldberg and Fleetwood 1987), which itself might be partly the outcome of morphological factors concerning spread. Competitiveness and vegetative spread are also correlated with speed of establishment – all three factors might be expected to be the outcome of the same physiological mechanisms for rapid growth (Grime 2001). No particular relationship between a tendency to self-sow and longevity is noted – Grime 2001 suggests that there is a trade-off between the two, i.e. between long-lived competitors and shorter-lived ruderals which need to partition more resources as seed for the survival of the species.

4.3
4.3.1

Implications for the use of the plants surveyed in cost-effectiveness public space management
Longevity 2.4 2.6 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.9 3.0 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.6 Rudbeckia fulgida, all taxa Anaphalis triplinervis, and cvs Geranium pratense and cvs. Lythrum salicaria, and cvs. Centaurea Montana, and cvs. Cephalaria gigantea Brunnera macrophylla cvs. Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' Sedum spectabile, and cvs. Baptisia australis Kniphofia, various taxa Artemisia lactiflora, and cvs. Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' Papaver orientale, and cvs. Chelone obliqua, and cvs. Stipa gigantean Helleborus x hybridus Lysimachia clethroides Filipendula rubra and cvs. Sedum telephium cvs. Anemone x hybrida (other than HJ) Sedum (Herbstfreude Group) 'Herbstfreude' 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.9

Echinacea purpurea and hybrids Achillea interspecific hybrids Aquilegia vulgaris, and cvs. Achillea millefolium cvs. Heuchera micrantha and hybrids Monarda hybrids Knautia macedonica, and cvs. Dictamnus albus, and cv. Anemanthele lessoniana Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ Geranium renardii and cvs. Pulmonaria, all taxa Campanula latifolia, and cvs. Crocosmia other than 'Lucifer' Astrantia major and cvs. Amsonia orientalis Euphorbia cyparissias and cvs. Lunaria rediviva Geranium phaeum, other than 'Samobor' Euphorbia polychroma and cvs, Thalictrum aquilegifolium, alll vars Echinops ritro and cvs.

§
Brunnera macrophylla Veronicastrum virginicum all vars. Iris sibirica cvs. Alchemilla mollis Nepeta x faassenii, and cvs. Phlomis russeliana Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ Persicaria amplexicaulis and cvs. Aruncus dioicus Macleaya cordata Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' Aconitum napellus, and cvs. Geranium x oxonianum types Hosta, various taxa Geranium sylvaticum cvs. Acanthus mollis Liriope muscari, and cvs. Miscanthus sinensis, cvs. 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0

§
Table 4.3.1 - 1 Species surveyed in order of means of respondents’ assessment of longevity. It is clear that there are many of the species assessed would appear to be reliably long-lived, and so suitable for cost-effective use.

To summarise the above: 1) 6 species, have a mean assessment of 4.0, and would thus appear to be “bomb-proof” in the words of Bob Brown, a leading commercial grower of perennials (Cotswold Garden Flowers) – i.e. reliably long-lived. 2) 20 species have a mean assessment of 3.8 – 3.9. It is possible that these are also reliably long-lived but a small number of cases of death due to factors such as predation or extreme abiotic stress. 3) The remainder may possibly show a tendency towards being short-lived. This may be trait-based, or may show that these species are more vulnerable to predation or abiotic stress. Most problematic for investors in public space are those species which respondents found to be relatively short-lived, shown in table 4.3.1 - 2. Mean of assessment of longevity Echinacea purpurea and hybrids Achillea interspecific hybrids Aquilegia vulgaris, and cvs. Achillea millefolium cvs. Heuchera micrantha and hybrids Monarda hybrids Knautia macedonica, and cvs. Dictamnus albus, and cv. Anemanthele lessoniana Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ Geranium renardii and cvs. Pulmonaria, all taxa Campanula latifolia, and cvs. Crocosmia other than 'Lucifer' Astrantia major and cvs. 2.4 2.6 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.9 3.0 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.4 Mean of assessment of vegetative Spread 1.5 1.9 1.4 2.6 2.0 3.5 1.8 1.6 2.2 1.8 1.7 2.6 2.2 2.4 2.3 Mean of assessment of spread by self-seeding 1.5 1.0 3.6 1.7 1.2 1.1 2.1 1.0 3.4 1.1 1.3 1.7 1.6 1.2 1.9

Table 4.3.1 - 2. Species indicated as being short-lived (scored as <3.4 on the longevity assessment) with assessments of Vegetative Spread and ‘Spread by Self-seeding’. In some cases respondent comments, or experience as indicated in the horticultural literature indicate that short lifespans are not necessarily a trait but the result

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of mollusc predation, e.g Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’, lack of hardiness, as in Crocosmia taxa, or Anemanthele lessoniana or a high level of vulnerablility to a variety of problems owing to a slow rate of establishment as in Dictamnus albus (Gerritsen and Oudolf 2003). It is noted that vegetative spread of these short-lived species tends to be low; Grime 2001 discusses how short-lived species (i.e. those showing some ruderal character) might be expected to be short-lived, and not to spread through vegetative clonal ramet production. It appears as if some species here, notably Aquilegia vulgaris and Anemanthele lessoniana, offset their tendency to be short-lived by a strong tendency to self-sow. In public space this can be regarded as very positive, if the planting is of an informal or naturalistic aesthetic, and might be regarded as a positive aspect of an ecologically dynamic and healthy system (Kingsbury 2004). It is suggested that trialling or assessment of many other herbaceous species may indicate others with this trade-off, and therefore show potential for lower-maintenance plantings. The short lifespans of several taxonomic groups included here suggest that caution should be used in their inclusion in public space plantings where longevity of effect is important, this is particularly the case since several of these: Echinacea purpurea and hybrids Achillea interspecific hybrids Achillea millefolium cvs. Heuchera micrantha and hybrids, are currently very popular in the wholesale nursery trade, with particularly active breeding programmes. 4.3.2 Vegetative Spread The use of the measure of vegetative spread used here should be treated with caution, as the questionnaire asked respondents to categorise plants according to various criteria of morphology which underlie effective spread by ramets – these categories only form a gradient in a very broad sense – from low to high levels of potential effectiveness of spreading mechanisms. Consequently, a mean figure only represents a mean of respondents assessments on this gradient, and is not to be understood as representing a category. It should be noted that assessment of vegetative spread was the most ‘disputed’ performance measure used here; the mean of the standard deviations for all subjects for vegetative spread was 0.9 (Competitiveness and Spread by self-seeding were 0.7, Longevity and Speed of establishment were 0.6,). This may reflect the subjective component of visual assessment and/or different plant response in different environments.

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Acanthus mollis Anemone x hybrida (other than HJ) Centaurea montana, and cvs. Euphorbia cyparissias and cvs. Filipendula rubra and cvs. Geranium x oxonianum types Lysimachia clethroides Macleaya cordata Monarda hybrids Persicaria amplexicaulis and cvs. Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' Phlomis russeliana mean of standard deviation

mean of standard mean assessment deviation of assessment of vegetative assessments of longevity spread of vegetative spread 2.9 1.4 4.0 3.1 1.4 3.8 3.0 1.6 3.6 4.4 1.4 3.5 3.7 1.3 3.8 3.2 1.3 4.0 3.6 1.4 3.8 4.3 0.9 3.9 3.5 1.7 2.9 3.7 1.2 3.9 4.1 0.9 3.9 3.3 0.7 3.9 1.3

Table 4.3.2 Species where the mean of respondents assessment of vegetative spread is >2.9. Table 4.3.2 shows species which respondents reported as having characteristics highly favourable for vegetative spread – in many cases comments are made on how effective this spread is, and how problematic this may be for garden management. The problematic nature of strong vegetative spread is strongly culturally bound, and is linked to conventional as opposed to naturalistic notions of garden aesthetics (Hitchmough 2004). The mean figure for the standard deviation of assessments of vegetative spread (1.3) is higher than for this measure as a whole (0.9), with a wide range of different assessments for many species. It is possible that respondents who saw strong vegetative spread as being a potential management problem assessed a plant in a higher than a respondent who did not; those with more naturalistic gardens may not have observed higher levels of spread or interpreted mechanisms of spread differently. It should be noted that all these species have high values for assessment of longevity. In some circumstances the tendency of these species to spread combined with longevity may create management problems in controlling unwanted propagules or eliminating the plant when it is no longer required, or of competing too effectively with less competitive elements of plantings. Comments made be respondents made frequent references to this. Monarda hybrids however, given that each ramet is only annual in duration, are unlikely to present this problem. Of these species, only one, Geranium x oxonianum types, was assessed as having a relatively high rate of self-seeding (2.8), this, combined with a capactity for effective vegetative spread, may be seen as problematic in some situations.

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4.3.3 Competitiveness Competitiveness Longevity Echinacea purpurea and hybrids Achillea interspecific hybrids Dictamnus albus, and cv. Amsonia orientalis Geranium renardii and cvs. S Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ Achillea millefolium cvs. Thalictrum aquilegifolium, alll vars Baptisia australis Knautia macedonica, and cvs. Crocosmia other than 'Lucifer' Campanula latifolia, and cvs. Pulmonaria, all taxa S Euphorbia polychroma and cvs, Heuchera micrantha and hybrids S Astrantia major and cvs. S 2.0 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.4 2.6 3.1 3.5 3.3 3.1 2.8 3.5 3.7 3.0 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.5 2.9 3.4

Table 4.3.3 -1. Species where mean of assessment for competition rating <3. Species with mean of longevity assessment <3 are grey-shaded. Table 4.3.3 -1 lists species which were assessed at a mean of <3, (moderately robust, with ability to survive competition). i.e. their ability to compete is weak, therefore they are likely to be suppressed by more competitive species in plantings. In some cases, indicated by (S), they are noted as being shade-tolerant (Rice 2006), and therefore competition is likely to be less of a problem in shade, as shade reduces the growth of competitive species (Grime 2001). Species which are relatively uncompetitive can be expected to be more likely to fail in plantings where there is a reduced level of management. This problem is compounded by several of them having lower levels of longevity, as indicated in table 4.3.3 -1. Mean of Mean of Mean of Competitiveness Longevity Vegetative Spread Lysimachia clethroides 4.0 3.8 3.2 Acanthus mollis 4.0 4.0 2.9 Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' 4.0 3.9 3.7 Geranium x oxonianum types 4.0 4.0 3.2 Macleaya cordata 4.2 3.9 4.3 Euphorbia cyparissias and cvs. 4.3 3.5 4.4 Table 4.3.4 –2 Species whose mean of assessment for competitiveness is 4 or greater, in order of increasing mean of assessed competitiveness. Conversely, there are species (see table 4.3.3 - 2.) whose level of competitive ability was assessed as high, often combined with longevity, which indicates that they

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are very suitable for use in minimum-maintenance situations, but possibly too competitive and difficult to control when combined with less vigorous species. Their mechanism of vegetative spread was rated as highly effective in spreading; using the categories of clonal spread adopted in Kingsbury 2008, the following is noted more open phalanx clump, at least at outer edges, more strongly spreading Acanthus mollis Geranium x oxonianum types clump with underground guerrilla ramets: Euphorbia cyparissias and cvs. Lysimachia clethroides Macleaya cordata Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' 4.3.4 Speed of Establishment Mean of Mean of speed of Longevity establishment 1.2 3.1 1.5 3.7 1.6 3.5

Dictamnus albus, and cv. Baptisia australis Amsonia orientalis Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' 1.7 3.7 Anemone x hybrida (other than HJ) 1.7 3.8 Geranium renardii and cvs. 1.8 3.3 Helleborus x hybridus 1.8 3.8 Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ 1.8 3.1 Euphorbia polychroma and cvs, 1.8 3.5 Liriope muscari, and cvs. 1.9 4.0 Iris sibirica cvs. 1.9 3.9 Astrantia major and cvs. 1.9 3.4 Campanula latifolia, and cvs. 1.9 3.4 Thalictrum aquilegifolium, alll vars 1.9 3.5 Crocosmia other than 'Lucifer' 1.9 3.4 Table 4.3.4 Species where mean of assessed speed of establishment was reported as being <2, in order of increasing mean of speed of establishment. 15 of the species studied had a mean speed of establishment <2, i.e. were somewhat slow to establish; it is suggested that in lower management environments they are more likely to fail, owing to suppression by more vigorous species or weeds. However all are reported as being relatively long-lived, see table 4.3.4. In Kingsbury

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2008, it is suggested that there is a defined group of herbaceous perennials which have a strategy similar to that of cespitose grasses and geophytes, characterised by considerable investment in root growth in the earlier period of the plant’s life, consequent slow rate of growth above ground, but with a potential for longevity. Such species are likely to be unpopular with practitioners wanting or needing quick results, but as a long-term investment they may be a good choice, offering many years of good performance in return for good management in the earlier years. 4.3.5 Recruitment through seeding Mean of Mean of Spread by Competitiveness self-seeding Geranium phaeum, other than 'Samobor' Knautia macedonica, and cvs. Cephalaria gigantea Lythrum salicaria, and cvs. Geranium sylvaticum cvs. Thalictrum aquilegifolium, alll vars Lunaria rediviva Centaurea montana, and cvs. Geranium pratense and cvs. Brunnera macrophylla Geranium x oxonianum types Helleborus x hybridus Anemanthele lessoniana Alchemilla mollis Aquilegia vulgaris, and cvs. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.8 2.9 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.5 2.8 3.3 3.0 3.2 2.7 3.1 3.6 3.3 3.5 4.0 3.1 3.3 3.9 3.0

Table 4.3.5. Species with mean of assessed spread by self-seeding 2.0 or greater, arranged by order of increasingly high assessed tendency to self-seed. Since recruitment by seed is a key method of species recruitment in nature, it is perhaps harder to explain why many ornamental species do not produce seedlings in gardens, or only do so rarely, than why some do. Ornamental populations may be genetically unsuited to producing viable seed: by being sterile hybrids or because crosspollination between genotypes is essential for formation of viable seed. Many ornamental populations are effectively clonal, as they are propagated by division or other vegetative means – there is however little data on this. Even if there is genetic diversity sufficient to support high levels of viable seed production in the cultivated genepool, this diversity is very often absent within the cultivated landscape, as all plants present may be clonal, or in the case of private gardens, there may only have been one original plant. Self-seeding was often regarded as a nuisance in traditional horticultural management, but is seen more positively by contemporary practitioners who regard it as part of a healthy ecological dynamic and naturalistic aesthetic (Kingsbury and Oudolf

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2005, Pfälzner-Thomsen 1995). Self-seeding can also result in a wider range of colour or other forms in the planted landscape. However, in some circumstances some species can self-sow to become a problem, with seedlings out-competing other species in the planting. This can be a particular problem if species are also notably competitive – as can be seen from table 4.3.5 , many of the most highly assessed self-seeders are notably competitive.

5 CONCLUSIONS
Questionnaire methodology A practitioner questionnaire is indicated as a potentially valuable way of gathering high-quality data on long-term plant performance. The main issue would appear to be in finding potential participants. It is suggested that future work using this method address participant recruitment methodology as a priority. Longevity. This vital trait is best appreciated as a gradient (see table 4.3.1), from inevitably short-lived species to species with a strong tendency for longevity and the survival of abiotic stress. It is suggested that cost-effective public space management would benefit from greater awareness of the issues raised by this gradient, and of greater attention to longevity as an issue by the nursery trade, researchers and professional plant users. Long-term research in this area is strongly supported. Certain short-lived taxa are currently very popular in the wholesale nursery trade. Indications here are that they are a poor investment in long-term sustainable public plantings. It is suggested that ‘short-lived perennial’ may be an important category which no horticultural classification sufficiently recognises, and a lack of awareness of this category-concept has a deleterious effect on cost-effective and sustainable plant use, and of the credibility of the nursery industry. The possibility is suggested that the nursery industry is geared towards the production of taxa largely for the retail trade rather than for public space, and that many of these retail-orientated taxa are relatively short-lived. It may be that public space is effectively a low-priority area for varietal innovation in the industry. This should be seen as a serious short-coming in terms of the ability of public space specifiers to develop designed plantings which are cost-effective and sustainable. Effective vegetative spread and competitiveness Some species with high assessments of longevity combined with competitiveness and high levels of vegetative spread may cause ‘weed’ problems in some circumstances owing to the effective distribution of ramets, resulting in increased management problems – on the other hand this vigorous spread and competitiveness may be seen as highly desirable in some situations. Further research and greater awareness of these issues, covering a wider range of strongly-spreading species would be useful, in order to provide better specification. See table 4.3.2 for the taxa with the highest assessments for vegetative spread and table 4.3.4 –2 for the highest assessments of competitiveness. Conversely, the low level of competitiveness shown by some species (see table 4.3.3 –1) is an indication that they may be readily overwhelmed by more vigorous species in some plantings where they would be a poor investment.

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Establishment. It is indicated that perennials establish at different rates, and that some species which are slow to establish may nevertheless be valuable long-lived components of planting, these are listed in table 4.3.4. More knowledge concerning this issue would help specifiers and managers to safeguard investments made using these taxa. Self-sowing. This may be valuable in some circumstances, but undesirable in others, table 4.3.5 lists taxa where high levels of seeding are noted. Greater awareness of this issue may help specifiers to design plantings for appropriate management levels.

6 APPENDICES
Appendix 1 – Questionnaire See file Questionnaire v2.doc. In e-version this follows at the end, but please note that owing to software problems not in original format Appendix 2 – Raw data of taxa and taxonomic groups included for study See Raw Data - spp. studied.xls Appendix 3 – All raw data. See Raw data - all .xls Appendix 4 – Respondent data supplied See Respondent data.xls 2-3 not supplied in e-version

7 REFERENCES
Arbeitskreis Staudensichtung (no date). Staudensichtung. Forschungsanstalt für Gartenbau, Weihenstephan. Available at < www.staudensichtung.de> Viewed 25.Mar.2010. Crawley, M.J. (1997) The Structure of Plant Communities. In Crawley, M.J. (ed.) Plant Ecology, pp.239-261. Blackwell, Oxford. Darke, R. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Davis, B. (1987). The Gardener’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs. Viking, London. Davis, B. (1990). The Gardener’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking, London. Dosmann, M. (1999). Genes in the landscape. The Horticulturalist, 8:4. Gerritsen, H. & Oudolf, P. (2000). Dream Plants for Planting the Natural Garden. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

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Gerritsen, H. & Oudolf, P. (2003). Planting the Natural Garden. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Gesellschaft der Staudenfreunde (2010). Available at www.gdsstaudenfreunde.de. Viewed 12.March,2010. Goldberg, D.E. & Fleetwood, L. (1987). ‘Competitive effect and response in four annual plants’, Journal of Ecology, 75, pp.113-143. Griffiths, M. (1992) The Royal Horticultural Society Index of Garden Plants. Macmillan , London. Grime, J.P. (2001) Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes and Ecosystem Properties. John Wiley, Chichester, UK. Hansen, R. and Stahl, F. (1993) Perennials and their Garden Habitats, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Herben, T. & Hara, T. (1997). ‘Competition and spatial dynamics of clonal plants’, in de Kroon, H. & van Groenendael, J. (eds.) The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants, Backhuys, Leiden. Hitchmough, J. (2003a). ‘Herbaceous Perennials’. In Hitchmough, J. & Fieldhouse, K. (eds), Plant User Handbook, A guide to effective specifying, Blackwell, Oxford. Hitchmough, J. (2003b). ‘Selecting Plant Species, Cultivars and Nursery Products. In Hitchmough, J. & Fieldhouse, K. (eds), Plant User Handbook, A guide to effective specifying, Blackwell, Oxford. Hitchmough, J. (2004). ‘Naturalistic herbaceous vegetation for urban landscapes’, in The Dynamic Landscape, Design, Ecology and Management of Naturalistic Urban Planting, Dunnett, N, Hitchmough, J. (eds.), Spon Press, London. Hitchmough, J. & Thoday, P. (2003). ‘Introduction to Plant Use and the Landscape’, in Hitchmough, J. & Fieldhouse, K. (eds), Plant User Handbook, A guide to effective specifying, Blackwell, Oxford. Institut für Stauden und Gehölze (1999). Staudenneuheiten – Prüfung. Institut für Stauden und Gehölze, Weihenstephan. Jelitto, L. & Schacht, W. (1990). Hardy Herbaceous Perennials. Timber Press, Portland. Kingsbury, N. (1996) The New Perennial Garden. Frances Lincoln, London. Kingsbury, N. (2004). ‘Contemporary overview of naturalistic planting design’, , in The Dynamic Landscape, Design, Ecology and Management of Naturalistic Urban Planting, Dunnett, N, Hitchmough, J. (eds.), Spon Press, London.

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Kingsbury, N. J. (2008). An investigation into the performance of species in ecologically based ornamental herbaceous vegetation, with particular reference to competition in productive environments. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Sheffield.
Kingsbury, N and Oudolf P. (2005) Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space. Timber Press, Portland.

Kittur, A., Chi, E., Pendleton, B.A., Suh, B. & Mitkowitz, T. (2006). Power of the Few vs. Wisdom of the Crowd: Wikipedia and the Rise of the Bourgeoisie. Available at: http://www.lnl.infn.it/~epics/WikiDumps/localhost/submission_edchi_1.pdf. Viewed 12.March.2010. Klimes, L., Klimesova, J., Hendriks R., & van Groenendael J. (1997). ‘Clonal plant architecture: a comparative analysis of form and function’, in The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants, (Eds. de Kroon, H. & van Groenendael, J.), Backhuys, Leiden. Mackenzie, D.S. (1997). Perennial Ground Covers. Timber Press, Portland. Pfälzner-Thomsen, G. (1995). ‘Selbstaussamende Stauden’, Garten Praxis, 3/1995,. Rice, G. (ed.) (2006). Encyclopaedia of Perennials. Dorling Kindersley, London. Rice, G. (2008). ‘Echinacea’, in The Garden, pp. 526-531 (August). Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) (2007). Proposed revision of the rules governing trials, terms and conditions governing the conduct of RHS trials. Unpublished internal document. Royal Horticultural Society, London. Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) (2008). The RHS Award of Garden Merit (leaflet). Royal Horticultural Society, London. Thoday, P. (2003). ‘Ground Cover’. In Hitchmough, J. & Fieldhouse, K. (eds), Plant User Handbook, A guide to effective specifying, Blackwell, Oxford. Thomas, G.S (1976) Perennial Garden Plants. Dent,London. Turner, R. (2009). Tall Perennials, Larger-than-life Plants for Gardens of All Sizes. Timber Press, Portland OR. Tutin, T.G. et al. (1968) Flora Europaea, Cambridge University Press. Yeo, P. (1985) Hardy Geraniums, Timber, Portland OR

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Dr. Nigel Dunnett, Mel Burton, Piet Oudolf, Andrew McSeveney, Leigh Hunt, Cassian Schmidt, Jo

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Eliot.; staff of The Garden, The Hardy Plant, Professional Gardeners Guild journal, and with much gratitude to all participants who filled in questionnaires.

© Noel Kingsbury 2010

PLANT PERFORMANCE QUESTIONNAIRE
PLEASE NOTE - NOT ORIGINAL FORMATTING
Dr. Noel Kingsbury, Associate, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield Montpelier Cottage, Brilley, HEREFORD, HR3 6HF CONTENTS BACKGROUND 1 INSTRUCTIONS 2 RESPONDENT DETAILS 3 Part 1 GROWING CONDITIONS 3 PART 2. PLANT PERFORMANCE 4 KEY SPECIES LIST 6 PLANT PERFORMANCE RECORD SHEETS BACKGROUND This research is being undertaken as part of the contribution the Landscape Department at the University of Sheffield are making to an EU project ‘The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme – Making Places Profitable’. In a nutshell it means that professionals and researchers from partner organisations (mostly local government and universities) get together to share experiences about best practice. Gardeners, public and private, build up extensive knowledge of the plants they grow but are not very good at noting it down. This questionnaire is designed to gather information about the long-term performance of herbaceous perennials so that landscape architects and public space managers can create more interesting, beautiful and bio-diverse planting schemes as a result of having more confidence in selecting plants which will perform well over time. The questionnaire is also designed to test a methodology which can be easily adapted to gather information about any other category of plants, in any country. Once the project is finished, the final report will be: _ Distributed to partners in the North Sea Region

§ _ Published as an academic paper so that it can be shared amongst those teaching landscape and horticulture – the publication will be open-access, free and online _ Material will be included in the books and garden magazine articles which are my output as a garden journalist _ Included in my teaching materials for garden designers, horticulture professionals and amateur gardeners. INSTRUCTIONS Part 1 GROWING CONDITIONS This is asking for information about the garden/park where you have had the experience of growing the plant species/cultivars discussed. If your gardening experience has involved growing plants over more than one garden/park, and the geographic location or environment is very different between them – please contact me, before filling in the questionnaire. Part 2 PLANT PERFORMANCE DATA Choose plants from the Key Species List which you have grown for at least 5 years, and write their name in the ‘name’ space on the Plant Performance Record Sheets However since part of this research is designed to explore plant longevity, short-lived species (i.e. which live for less than five years) can be included, but only if you have had at least two attempts at growing them. 1. Please circle the appropriate number for each of the performance factors (detailed in Part 2. Plant Performance Data). 2. Where you see ‘Please name cultivar you are describing’ on the Key Species List, choose only a relatively well-known one which you regard as typical of the species or genus. 3. Also please indicate approximately how many years you have grown the plant for, and if you have any doubt that the plant is not correctly named please tick the ID? box. 4. There is also a space for additional comments, e.g. if the species performs differently in different locations. 5. How many plants you provide information for is up to you – I want filling this in

§ to be interesting, even enjoyable. I would appreciate at least 20, but the more the merrier! 6. If there are other herbaceous perennials (or short-lived perennials) which are not on the list, but which you regard highly – for reliability or visual impact, and which you have at least 5 years experience with, please name them and fill out an entry for them. 7. How many plants you provide data for is up to you – the more the merrier! Most respondents manage 20-30 in an hour – which is the most I can reasonably ask for. 8. Thank you!

RESPONDENT DETAILS NAME OF GARDEN OR PARK ……………………………………………………………… ADDRESS……………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………… NAME OF RESPONDENT ………………………………………………… POSITION OF RESPONDENT (i.e. garden owner, gardener, manager) …………………………………….. Part 1 GROWING CONDITIONS 1.0 Soil 1.1.1 Summer drought Often dry in summer Occasionally dry in summer Rarely dry in summer 1.1.2 Moisture Good drainage, excess moisture never a problem _ Distinctly high moisture content Distinctly moist, occasional winter waterlogging _ Frequent waterlogging

_ _ _

_ _

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1.1.2 Soil Texture Free-draining, sandy or light Loam Distinctly clay/heavy Poor quality/disturbed 1.1.3 Fertility High Medium Low 1.1.4 pH Alkaline Neutral Acid 1.2 Local Climate 1.1.2 Wind/exposure Exposed, average, sheltered ? 1.1.3 Aspect Notably north, south, west or east No aspect dominant 1.1.4 Other factors Anything else you regard as important e.g. frost hollow, high altitude

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ……… ………. ………. ……….

PART 2. PLANT PERFORMANCE Refer to and fill in Plant Performance Record Sheets 2.1 Longevity For each species give a score: 1 = very short-lived, rarely more than 3 years 2 = short-lived, 3-5 years 3 = medium-lived, plants may live 5 years or more, but suddenly disappear 4 = long-lived, plants appear to survive for ever 2.2 Vegetative spread For each species give a score: 1 = not spreading, staying in same place 2 = slowly expanding clump 3 = strongly expanding clump 4 = spreading through occasional runners 5 = spreading strongly through extensive runners 6 = discontinuous spread, i.e. spreading outwards but older (1-2 year old) growth dying 7 = as above, but vigorously 2.3 Competitiveness

§ For each species give a score: 1 = very readily overwhelmed by neighbours or weeds 2 = readily overwhelmed, but with some ability to survive competition 3 = moderately robust, with ability to survive competition 4 = moderately spreading, ability to suppress or infiltrate neighbours, or resist weed encroachment 5 = characteristically aggressively spreading, suppressing or heavily infiltrating neighbours 2.4 Speed of establishment For each species give a score: 1 = slow, acceptable plant size reached in 3 years or longer after planting 2 = moderate, acceptable plant size reached in 2 years after planting 3 = fast, acceptable plant size reached in first year after planting 2.5 Spread by self-seeding For each species give a score: (Unless you always dead-head, in which case leave blank). 1 = never self-seeds 2 = rarely self-seeds, or seedlings rarely reach maturity 3 = moderate self-seeding 4 = extensive, even nuisance, level of self-seeding Self-seeding often appears to vary greatly between locations. Where the plant is growing in several locations, does self-seeding vary, and what are the differences between the locations? Key Species List Acanthus mollis Achillea millefolium, older cultivars, e.g. ‘Cerise Queen’. Please name cultivar you are describing Achillea – modern hybrids, often named as ‘Galaxy hybrids’, e.g. ‘Hoffnung’, ‘Fanal’ etc. Please name cultivar you are describing Aconitum napellus Alchemilla mollis Amsonia orientalis Anaphalis triplinervis Anemone x hybrida. Please name cultivar you are describing Aquilegia vulgaris Artemesia lactiflora Please name cultivar you are describing Aruncus dioicus Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ Astrantia major Please name cultivar you are describing

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Baptisia australis Brunnera macrophylla Campanula latifolia Centaurea montana Cephalaria gigantea Chelone obliqua Crocosmia Please name cultivar you are describing Dictamnus albus Echinaea purpurea. Please name cultivar you are describing Echinops. Please name cultivar you are describing Euphorbia cyparissus Euphorbia polychroma Filipendula rubra 'Venusta' Geranium 'Johnsons Blue' Geranium phaeum, Please name cultivar you are describing Geranium pratense, Please name cultivar you are describing Geranium renardii Geranium sylvaticum, Please name cultivar you are describing Geranium x oxonianum, Please name cultivar you are describing Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' Helleborus x hybridus Heuchera micrantha Hosta. Please name cultivar you are describing Iris sibirica, Please name cultivar you are describing Knautia macedonica Kniphofia. Please name cultivar you are describing Leucanthemella serotina Liriope muscari Lunaria rediviva Lysimachia clethroides Lythrum salicaria Macleaya cordata Miscanthus sinensis, Please name cultivar you are describing Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea. Please name cultivar you are describing Monarda, Please name cultivar you are describing

§ Nepeta x faassenii Panicum virgatum, Please name cultivar you are describing Papaver orientale, Please name cultivar you are describing Persicaria amplexicaule, Please name cultivar you are describing Persicaria bistorta, Please name cultivar you are describing Phlomis russelliana Pulmonaria officianalis, Please name cultivar you are describing Rudbeckia fulgida , Please name cultivar you are describing Salvia nemorosa/S. sylvatica/S. x superba, Please name cultivar you are describing Sedum spectabile / S. telephium, Please name cultivar you are describing Stipa arundinacea Stipa calamagrostis Stipa gigantea Teucrium hircanicum Thalictrum aquilegifolium Vernonia, Please name cultivar you are describing Veronicastrum virginicum, Please name cultivar you are describing. 1