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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

W S Warmenhoven (Part Two): New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 11 Jul 2009 at 07:08 AM

Allium 'Carlito'. Image: GardenPhotos.comWhile the W S Warmenhoven exhibit at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show featured some unusual alliums on their Floral Marquee exhibit, they also displayed the latest introductions in the more familiar ball-headed style.

Allium ‘Carlito', I noticed, had an unusually stout stem - invaluable for large scale flower arrangements - topped by very densely crowded heads of the usual starry florets in a noticeably silvered lilac shade... slightly paler and slightly larger than the familiar favourite ‘Globemaster'. Expect the plants to grow to about 75cm/30in and the spherical flower heads to be about 12cm/5in across. ‘Carlito' was raised by Firma Langedijk, of Zwaagdijk in The Netherlands.

Allium 'Universe'. Image: GardenPhotos.comAllium ‘Universe' has a definite air of Allium christophii about it - albeit with a far taller stem. The stout stems carry the usual spherical heads in an especially metallic purplish shade but I noticed that the florets were a little less tightly packed than in many varieties of this type.

‘Universe' was actually first shown at the Tatton Park Flower Show way back in 2004 when The Garden reported that it would be available in three or four years. It's still not listed in the RHS Plant Finder or by the W S Warmenhoven... but keep checking.

While bulbs of these dramatic varieties are sometimes available from W S Warmenhoven exhibits at flower shows, they are not yet available by mail order from the W S Warmenhoven website. Keep checking back.



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