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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

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Amulree Exotics: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 06 Jul 2009 at 10:24 PM

Amongst gardeners who enjoy exotic, tropical style plants the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has a lot to offer, including two new alocasias from Amulree Exotics.

Alocasia are native to South America where their corms are eaten - after prolonged boiling. But we grow them for their large and dramatic leaves which can be purple, green or variegated and Amulree have two new variegated forms.

Alocasia wentii 'Aline' - New at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show . Image: GardenPhotos.comAlocasia wentii ‘Aline' has a large, dark green, arrowhead-shaped leaf with a dark purple underside and the top side of the leaf is densely speckled in white. It's the first variegated alocasia and while no two leaves are quite the same, they are always densely marked.

 Also seen for the first time at the show, and even newer, is Alocasia wentii ‘Victory'. This is a sport of ‘Aline' which is basically similar but without the dark purple underside to the leaf. The result is a plant which is equally well speckled in white, but the green colouring in the leaf is much less dark because there is no influence from a dark underside as there is with ‘Aline'.Alocasia wentii 'Victory' - New at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show . Image:

Traditionally, alocasias have been used as indoor plants for the house, conservatory or greenhouse but they are now being used outside in large containers and even in rich and sunny borders. In fact both ‘Aline' and ‘Victory' should be hardy outside in many parts of Britain - if you fancy taking the chance.

You can buy plants of Alocosia wentii ‘Aline' and ‘Victory' at the Show or order online at the Amultee Exotics website.



Nigel Colborn said:

It would be great to find out from other bloggers what has and hasn't survived during recent years.  I don't think I'd dare leave alocasias outside in my Lincolnshire garden, but two species of pelargonium are behaving just like hardy perennials, here.  They are P. sidoides and P. ionidiflorum.  

Also at Hampton Court, I was taken by some of the hibiscus varieties on Old Walled Garden's exhibit.  Some are as big as frying pans!

on 07 Jul 2009 at 09:36 AM

Graham Rice said:

Here are the thoughts of Tony Avent, an American grower whose garden is as cold in winter as anywhere in Britain: "Many of these aroids are proving to be hardy in the garden... in our Zone 7b garden. Even with their hardiness, the central bulbs may die out during a cold winter and the plants will re-sprout from small side bulbs. This can often be prevented by a 1'+ pile of leaf mulch over the main crown in winter."

As soon as your plants are big enough to split - bring one into protection for the winter and leave one outside to see how it fares.

on 07 Jul 2009 at 08:27 PM