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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

Chelsea Plant of the Year: Heucherella and Lewisia finalists

Posted by Graham Rice on 05 Jun 2011 at 04:43 PM

Plant of The Year,Heucherella,Lewsisia. Images © Carol Sheppard/RHSThe Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year award for 2011 went to Anemone 'Wild Swan', which I looked at here recently, and last time I took a look at the two runners up – Saxifraga 'Anneka Hope' and Verbascum 'Blue Lagoon'. Now let's see some of the other finalists.

Lewisia 'Little Mango' (above, click to enlarge) is the latest in a series of compact, easy-to-grow lewisias created in Germany by Jelitto Perennial Seeds, it was entered for the award by D'Arcy and Everest. Georg Uebelhart, General Manager of Jelitto Perennial Seeds, explained. “I was first introduced to Lewisia ‘Little Plum’ at Inshriach Alpine Plants at least twenty years ago. We first bred that true from seed, and later ‘Little Peach’ and crosses with these and ‘Pinkie’ and other fine lewisias resulted in exciting new colors. Breeding these true from seed is a challenge but can and will be done."

'Little Mango' is the third in the series, and he also confirmed that all have proved to be excellent garden plants and do not rot at the base or suffer from rust as many other lewisias do.

Plantagogo had two new heucherellas from America amongst the finalists. These are hybrids between the often sun-tolerant Heuchera and the shade loving Tiarella and come in some unexpected foliage colours. ‘Solar Power’ features yellow leaves patterned in red and turning darker in autumn and is wider than it is tall, 50cm/20in wide but just 12in/30cm high.

‘Brass Lantern’ makes a much larger plant, with the same spread but twice the height, with summer foliage in glossy gold with a brassy sheen and reddish tones, and becoming richer and deeper in colour later in the year. Both were bred in Oregon by Janet Egger of Terra Nova Nurseries who's created a wide range of perennials including new heucheras, tiarellas, pulmonarias, corydalis, agastaches and campanulas.

You can order plants of Lewisia 'Little Mango' from D'Arcy and Everest

You can order plants of x Heucherella 'Brass Lantern' from Plantagogo.

You can order plants of x Heucherella 'Solar Power' from Plantagogo.

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