Welcome to Minnesota Hardy

The University of Minnesota has been breeding apples, berries, grapes, ornamental trees and shrubs, flowers, and grasses for over 150 years. More than 400 proven hardy varieties provide a foundation for Minnesota's more than $200 billion horticultural industry. On this site you will find details about University breeding programs and lists of varieties currently available.

The U of M does not generally sell plant material to the public but provides it to licensed propagators who then distribute it to the growers, retailers, and landscapers. Commercial growers can learn more about licensing and purchasing our various varieties here. Home gardeners looking for varieties available at their local nurseries, orchards, or vineyards will find more information on FAQ pages for apples, wine grapes and landscape plants.

New and Exciting Varieties From the U of M

  • Northern Accents® Ole, Sven, Lena and Sigrid Roses Given New Life

    Northern Accents® Ole, Sven, Lena and Sigrid roses are back! Originally released in 2007 and 2009 the Northern Accents® Rose Series initially made a splash in Northern markets but as rose sales decreased during the recession, they became harder and harder for rose lovers to find.  Ole, Sven, Lena and Sigrid Roses.
  • Introducing Juicy Jewel™ Pear Tree

    Juicy Jewel™ (MN121 cultivar, US Plant Patent pending) represents the 5th pear variety released by the University’s fruit breeding program and the first Asian type. Juicy Jewel™ is an early ripening variety that lives up to its name by being very juicy and crisp 

    Two Juicy Jewel pears growing in a tree.
  • Introducing Golden Sunset™

    Golden Sunset™ (Plant Patent Applied for No. 62/995,225) is the newest Native grass released by the University of Minnesota. It was selected for its upright stature, clean olive-green foliage, numerous early yellow and golden-bronze flowers and Zone 3 hardiness. 

    Golden Sunset Indiangrass in fall.

  • Introducing Triumph™ Apple Tree

    Triumph™ (MN80 cultivar US Plant Patent applied for) represents the 28th apple variety released by the University’s apple breeding program. This well-balanced, mid-late season apple has shown excellent scab tolerance and good storage life, making it a great choice for direct market and organic producers. Triumph apples in a basket.
  • UMN plant breeders introduce First Kiss Apple

    First Kiss® (or Rave® as it will be known as when grown outside Minnesota), marks the 27th apple variety release from the apple breeders at the University of Minnesota. This child of Honeycrisp inherited its crisp and juicy texture but will be really up to four weeks earlier than its parent tree.  Rave/First Kiss Apple.

Minnesota Hardy Publication

2014 MN Hardy Cover.Minnesota Hardy describes over 150 horticultural plants released by Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) and available at local nurseries and garden centers. The current version was published in 2014 and includes useful growing information, locations to view University varieties, and a peek at future introductions. Download your own copy (.pdf)

Ask for Itasca!

Check out our list of wineries that have released/will soon release an Itasca wine and nurseries/vineyards selling Itasca vines/grapes. Please be sure to check websites/contact the vineyards/wineries/nurseries in advance regarding current availabilty and any COVID-19 related restrictions.

Looking for First Kiss® apples?

Check out our list of licensed growers but please be sure to check websites/contact the orchards in advance regarding current availabilty, harvest dates and sales locations.