Top Performers

Mt. Cuba Center, a nonprofit botanic garden in northern Delaware, evaluates plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region so home gardeners don’t have to.

Our Trial Garden research team assesses both horticultural and ecological value, highlighting not only factors such as disease resistance and growth conditions, but the ecosystem services these plants provide. Top Performer plants received a 4.0 or higher (out of 5.0) during rigorous multi-year evaluations that simulate common home garden settings. Findings are published in annual research reports, which are available to view and download for free by clicking the button below.

Look for the purple Top Performer tag to find beautiful and reliable native plants that support wildlife.

Scroll down to find out which plants received the Top Performer designation. We recommend calling your local garden center in advance to check stock, as availability will vary.

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Baptisia, also known as wild indigo or false indigo, is a fantastic group of plants with a beautiful spring floral display, deer-resistance, and low maintenance.

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Coreopsis, commonly known as tickseed, is one of the most popular, best-selling perennials available today with numerous available cultivars in a wide array of colors and habits.

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Echinacea, also known as coneflowers, are immensely popular and iconic native plants that are prized for their beauty as well as their purported medicinal qualities.

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These native hydrangeas bloom on new wood, which means that flower buds are produced when the plants are actively growing in the spring and early summer.

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Monarda, commonly known as bee balm, has been a popular garden perennial for many years with a wide variety selections in a range of colors and sizes.

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Phlox were some of the earliest plants discovered by European naturalists in America, and today there are a multitude of species available to gardeners for almost any type of garden environment, both sun and shade.

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Cavano’s Perennials Inc. is licensed to distribute Top Performer plants in partnership with Mt. Cuba Center. A thriving wholesale operation, Cavano’s grows more than 1,700 varieties of plants. Cavano’s plants are purchased by garden centers, landscape contractors, re-wholesalers, and municipalities throughout the eastern United States. Learn more at

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