Beginning in 2019, the CGW Board of Directors has nominated 3 to 4 proven annual plant varieties for the Plants of the Year voting coordinated by the Wisconsin Nursery & Landscape Association (WNLA). The winner is traditionally decided at the WNLA's 'Spring Startup' event which is held every year in late winter/early spring. Attendees cast their votes for Annual of the Year, Herbaceous Perennial of the Year, and Woody Ornamental (Tree) of the Year. Below is the list of winners for the 'Annual' category:

2021 Annual of the Year: Lantana camara 'Hot Blooded Red'

Zone: 10

Height: 15-18"

Spread: 24-30"

Sun: Full Sun


Lantana camara ‘Hot Blooded Red’ A compact shrub with a dense mound of green foliage that produces a non-stop show of red hot flower clusters throughout the heat of summer. The sterile blooms allow it to focus its energy on prolific blooming, making it a superb choice for containers, mass plantings, and borders. Evergreen in warm, frost-free climates; treat as a summer annual elsewhere.

2020 Annual of the Year: Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

Zone: 7 to 10

Height: 36-48"

Spread: 24-36"

Sun: Full Sun


Hot Lips Littleleaf Sage (Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’) has distinctive, brilliantly colored flowers that make ‘Hot Lips’ Salvia a special selection. Blooming from spring until hard frost in fall, the flower color will vary seasonally. In the cooler times of spring and fall, the flowers are strongly bi-colored red and white. When it’s hot, the flowers go solid red. Regardless of the time of the growing season, this ever-blooming selection is a beauty. The plant makes a small shrub with age and thrives in poor soils with plenty of heat and sun. Plant with Lavender (Lavandula) and white Ap-pleblossom Grass (Gaura). Javelina resistant.