You’ve just read two words I rarely use, not because they’re not good words, but because they’re good words gone bad. Overuse and misuse have rendered both of them practically useless. Listen to any pop culture conversation and you’re bound to hear someone say that she was so amazed by some inane something-or-other that her head “literally exploded.”

Eeeew.

We know, don’t we, that the word “literally” means “actually.” And that the word “amazing” is an adjective that means “causing great surprise or wonder.” So when you hear a fashionista say that the celebrity du jour wore a dress that was literally amazing, you have to wonder if said fashionista doesn’t get out much. (Hold on … we need the inflection to get this right: “It was literally? uh?mazing!”)

So, now that I’ve insulted half the English-speaking world, let me say that the plants we feature in this year’s New Plant Introductions issue are … wait for it … literally amazing. With each and every submission I was privileged to review, there was at least one plant that made me gasp.

I’ve had the great pleasure of working on this magazine’s annual new intros issue since 1994, and there hasn’t been an issue yet that has been short of amazing. Breathtaking color, promising varieties, exciting breakthroughs; it’s all there.

This year we received 152 submissions from 26 companies and two universities, and I can’t wait to share them with you. So turn that page!