Theodore Klein Plant Awards

Named for one of the patriarchs of the Kentucky Nursery Industry

Theodore Klein

A program promoting superior woody and herbaceous perennial plants for Kentucky Landscapes.

Named for one of the patriarchs of the Kentucky nursery industry, each year the Theodore Klein Plant Awards Committee announces a slate of plants that offer excellent ornamental and performance characteristics in the Kentucky climate. Award winners are selected each year by a panel of plant professionals from wholesale and retail nurseries, design firms, public horticulture and academic institutions.

Explore the Theodore Klein Plant Award Winners

2023 Theodore Klein Plant Award Winners Announced

They’re here! Each year a panel of Kentucky green industry professionals hunkers down in a dark and smoky room and battles it out to see which plant nominees will make the list. And this list that started back in 1999 now adds up to the go-to collection of woody and herbaceous garden plants for the region.


(Zelkova serrata ‘Village Green’)

This 40′-60′ tall shade tree creates a strong, vase-shaped specimen with deep green summer foliage and brick red fall color. It is a widely adaptable and long lived tree for use as a lawn specimen or street tree.

Japanese Flowering

(Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’)

A stunning, 20’-35’ tree that bears pale pink spring flowers that smother the branches. An excellent selection for a sunny location, it is fairly adaptable to a wide range of soils and offers nice yellow/orange fall foliage color.


(Lindera angustifolia)

Stunning and durable large shrub best known for its brilliant red and orange fall foliage color. Excellent for screening or as an accent specimen. Long lived, adaptable and deer proof.


(Juniperus ‘JN Select Blue’­
Star Power™)

This is one of the fastest growing upright junipers for the landscape. Star-like, blue green needles provide a fine texture while blue cones add a touch of colorful interest. Durable, deer proof and easy to grow.

Blue Star


This fabulous, compact growing sun perennial is prized for its sky-blue spring flowers, dense and high quality summer foliage and glowing golden fall color. It makes a good cut flower and is not browsed by deer.

Fairy Wings

(Epimedium 'Spine Tingler
and 'Sandy Claws')

These two outstanding selections form low, spreading, semi-evergreen shade plants with unique, spine-edge leaves and delicate spring flowers. ‘Spine Tingler’ offers yellow flowers held above foliage to about 8” tall while ‘Sandy Claws’ grows to about 15” tall with white/yellow flowers. Highly resistant to deer/rabbit browse.

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