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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

Headlines from the new RHS Plant Finder

Posted by Graham Rice on 30 Apr 2011 at 02:29 PM

Iris,Rio Rojo,Claire Austin, Image: ©Claire Austin.Today, in my last piece highlighting the plants new to the latest edition of the RHS Plant Finder, I’m taking a step back to view the bigger picture.

In recent weeks I’ve featured the five plants new in the latest RHS Plant Finder which are listed by the most nurseries. Top of the list was Actaea ‘Misty Blue’, next came Geranium ‘Midnight Clouds’, then Erodium ‘Freedom’, then came Chasmanthium latifolium ‘River Mist’ and finally the fifth most popular is Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus Superior'. I’ll be picking more of the most interesting and significant newcomers over the next few months but now I’m taking a broader look.

So which genera are the most popular overall, which feature the most new introductions?

Of the 3,508 new entries in the 2011/2012 RHS Plant Finder (up from 3,434 last year) there are 237 new irises (199 last year), with Claire Austin Hardy Plants leading the way. Many of the 210 new primulas (111 last year), most of which are auriculas, come from the Welsh auricula specialist Les Allen whose nursery is new in the Plant Finder this year. Mickfield Hostas and Bali-Hai Nursery Hosta,Lakeside,Paisley print,Bali-Hai, Image: ©Bali-Hai Nurserymake big contributions to the 149 new hostas (71 last year) while another Plant Finder newcomer from Wales, Abacus Nurseries, has played a big part in the 131 new dahlias included (55 last year). Last year’s leader was hemerocallis with an amazing 400 new arrivals (just 74 this year).

Janet Cubey, Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Plant Finder, says: “We’re used to seeing high numbers of new introductions of hostas and irises each year, reflecting the amount of breeding work in these areas, particularly in America, but it’s interesting to see the rise in primula and, especially, dahlia introductions this year. This reflects the increase in demand for dahlias from the gardening public and highlights the growing popularity of these flowers that we’ve seen at our shows, including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, in the last couple of years.”

You can order the new RHS Plant Finder from the RHS online store, or find it free online.

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