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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

Pheasant Acre Plants: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Jul 2009 at 04:09 PM

There's an increasing interest developing in gladioli and while there are new introductions in the traditional style are on show at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show there are also new varieties which hark back to the wild species.

Pheasant Acre Plants had two new seedlings, as yet un-named, which caught the attention of a lot of visitors.

Gladiolus seedling. Image: GardenPhotos.comThe first seedling, (illustrated left, click to enlarge) is gorgeous both in its flower shape and its colouring. With the three upper, slightly waved petals broad and slightly waved, the patterning of cream with strawberry pink staining and speckling is delightful. Then the three narrower lower petals, rolling to a point, are more consistent in their colouring: rich cream with a strawberry flash through the centre. The buds are rich cream.

One invaluable feature of this plant is that the lowest flowers on the spike are still in good condition when the topmost flowers open - ideal both in the garden and the vase.

This seedling is the result of crossing G. tristis with a plant which is itself a cross between G. alba and ‘Robinetta' and, strangely, the result has larger flowers than any of the three.

Gladiolus seedling. Image: GardenPhotos.comThe second seedling features very dark burgundy bud sheaths from which emerge cerise buds, opening to deep red flowers with the backs of the petals dusted in white. The insides of the petals feature a light streaking of ice white. The combination of rich colouring and icy highlights is lovely.

Both these new gladioli were raised in the Netherlands but neither is yet available for sale. Keep checking the Pheasant Acre Plants website for mail order availability.



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