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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: Five final finalists

Posted by Graham Rice on 18 Jun 2011 at 08:44 PM

Streptocarpus, Phalaenopsis, RHS, Chelsea, Plant of The Year, Brachyscome, Sarracenia, Nepenthes. Images © Carol Sheppard/RHSThis is the last of my looks at the finalists for the 2011 Plant of The Year award, given at this year's Chelsea Flower Show, with four indoor plants and a bright container plant.

From Australia comes the neat and bushy Brachyscome 'Magenta Delight', the first of its kind in such a vivid shade of magenta pink. The latest in fifteen years of development of brachyscomes, it was created by RHS Veitch Memorial Medal holder Roger Elliot. It's a prolific plant to hang over the edge of container anywhere in a sunny position.

Named in honour of Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales, Nepenthes 'Princess' is a hybrid pitcher plant developed in the Sri Lankan nursery of Rob Cantley of Borneo Exotics. He crossed two species he'd collected in the wild, legally of course, and selected this plant from the resulting seedlings for its bright red-lipped pitchers which are spotted in red. 'Princess' can be grown in a greenhouse or on a windowsill but appreciates humid conditions.

Developed in Taiwan, Phalaenopsis Ming - Hsing Eagle represents the increasingly popular large flowered, pastel coloured phalaenopsis with the delicate rosy pink patterning in its petals being especially appealing.

Sarracenia 'Johnny Marr' was developed at Hampshire Carnivorous Plants. A hybrid made in 1999, the plant first flowered in 2003 and was selected for colour, its vigour and the fact that its pitchers are so long lasting. The pitchers are very striking in colour, a bright copper shade in spring maturing to dark burgundy later in the season. Named for the guitarist formerly with The Smiths and The Cribs.

Finally, another streptocarpus from Dibleys whose 'Harlequin Blue' was the winner of the inaugural Plant of The Year award last year. 'Sioned' flowers for most of the year, its creamy booms boldly patterned in magenta pink with orange tones in the throat. A good windowsill plant, it is best kept slightly dry.

Click on the links below to see posts on the other finalists:
The Winner
The two runners up
Heucherella and Lewisia finalists
Three lily finalists
Three container plant finalists
Two shrubs and an ornamental grass

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

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