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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

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Chelsea Plant of The Year: Three lily finalists

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Jun 2011 at 03:28 PM

lily,Chelsea,Plant of The Year,H W Hyde. Image ©Carol Sheppard/RHSContinuing my look at all the plants shortlisted for the 2011 Chelsea Plant Of The Year award, we come to three new lilies all entered by H. W. Hyde and Son.

'Firebolt' (above left, click to enlarge) is a new Oriental hybrid lily from Holland. Bred as a cut flower, its sultry deep red flowers are unusual in their rich colouring and are carried in elegant, well-balanced heads on extra strong stems. Set off by orange anthers, each petal is deep red at the edges and a slightly fierier red in the centre.

'Lankon' (above centre, click to enlarge) is the world's first hybrid between the familiar Easter lily, L. longiflorum from Japan, and the Chinese L. lankongense to become available to gardeners. I wrote it up a few weeks ago here on my RHS New Plants blog. New techniques, and persistence, have led to the creation and availability of this hybrid which combines the vigour and pure white colouring of L. longiflorum with the delicate speckling of L. lankongense.

Finally 'Julie Fowlis' (above right, click to enlarge), an Oriental lily crossed with a Trumpet lily and the result crossed back to Oriental lily. Named for the Scottish folk singer of whom the Dutch breeder is a big fan, its large very well scented, dark vivid pink flowers are a little darker towards the centre of each petal and towards the base. Especially easy to grow in any rich but well drained soil, although developed as a cut flower lily it will also thrive in the garden.

All three lilies -  'Firebolt', 'Lankon' and 'Julie Fowlis' - are available from H. W. Hyde & Son.

You can find details of the winner of the Chelsea Plant of The Year award, the two runners up, and other shortlisted plants here on my RHS New Plants blog. And look out for a more detailed account of every shortlisted plant in the September issue of The Plantsman.


Thank you to Carol Sheppard of the RHS for the images.

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