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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

Three new brunneras in the 2010/2011 Plant Finder

Posted by Graham Rice on 04 May 2010 at 07:26 PM

Brunnera 'King's Ransom'. Image: ©Walters GardensSince the arrival of the silver-leaved Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ a few years ago, there’s been a slow but steady stream of new forms of this valuable shade loving perennial. This year there are three more.

It all started when a plant of the old variety ‘Langtrees’, with its silver spotted green leaves, produced a sport with leaves that were almost entirely silver. Now, new this year, we have ‘Emerald Mist’ (above, click to enlarge) which is like a superior form of ‘Langtrees’. What makes it special is that not only are the silver markings bold, and set against a contrasting green background but also that they are very evenly spread in a consistent ring on the leaf. It looks very stylish.

Brunnera 'King's Ransom'. Image: ©Walters Gardens

Also new is ‘Green Gold’, which has yellow leaves contrasting nicely with the dainty blue flowers while ‘King’s Ransom’ (left, click to enlarge) has the best of everything. This is a version of the silver-leaved ‘Jack Frost’ with the addition of a creamy or yellow edge to the leaf. So in just one leaf the silver colouring is dominant, the veins are a contrasting dark green while the edges of the leaves are rich cream or yellow.

All thrive in shade; ‘Emerald Mist’ in particular, but also ‘King’s Ransom’, will take dry shade, and these two also look splendid grown as specimen plants in terra cotta pots in an open but shady corner of the patio or deck. All make good ground cover and are also amongst the plants less likely to be eaten by the deer which are becoming an increasing problem in rural areas.

Keep an eye out for more new brunneras on the way, including some with flowers in new colours.

You can buy Brunnera macrophylla 'Emerald Mist' from these five RHS Plant Finder nurseries
You can buy Brunnera macrophylla 'Green Gold' from these three RHS Plant Finder nurseries
You can buy Brunnera macrophylla 'King's Ransom' from these six RHS Plant Finder nurseries

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