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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Knoll Gardens: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 03 Jul 2009 at 10:07 PM

Miscanthus sinensis 'Abundance' - new at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Image: ©Knoll GardensMiscanthus sinensis ‘Yakushima Dwarf' is, as you will have guessed, a dwarf form of this invaluable ornamental grass.

The problem is that because it's been raised from seed there are quite a few different dwarf forms all available under that one name - and some are far better than others. But you're never quite sure what you're going to get: the good, the bad or the ugly.

Neil Lucas at Knoll Gardens has solved the problem by selectinging an especially good seedling, naming it, and then propagating it by division so that all the plants are the exactly the same and you can always depend on getting an excellent plant. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Abundance' takes its first bow at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

"This is the new name for our best form of ‘Yakushima Dwarf' which is actually a mix of seedlings and not a clonal cultivar," Neil told me in the run up to the Show. "So, with encouragement from Rick Darke, we've taken the step of naming this particularly good form to avoid continued confusion.

"It's not always in flower by Hampton though it's looking hopeful, and we will certainly have plants for sale," he said. The heat wave has made it difficult for everyone.

‘Abundance' forms wonderful mounds of attractive narrow leaves covered in masses of delicate buff white flowers. The plumes glint in the sunshine. Neil says "it's one of the very best Miscanthus for general garden use" - though it's his baby so he's bound to be proud!

It's deciduous with the leaves turning an attractive tawny shade as they age, it reaches about 1-4-1.7m/4.5-4.8ft in height, and it thrives in sun or light shade. Ideal as a specimen in a border in a small garden, some gardeners grow these dwarf miscanthus in large tubs - where they look amazing.

You can buy Miscanthus sinensis ‘Abundance' at the Show, or order Miscanthus sinensis ‘Abundance' online at Knoll Gardens.

 

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