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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

Chrysanthemum: Virus-free exhibition varieties

Posted by Graham Rice on 06 Nov 2011 at 03:51 PM

Virus free exhibition chrysanths Images ©Chrysanthemums Direct

This post about new plants is a little different. This time it’s not the varieties that are new but the way in which the plants are produced.

When growers produce new plants of their exhibition chrysanthemums themselves, there tends to be a loss of vigour over the years. Often this is the result of virus infection which is transferred to healthy plants by aphids or sometimes on the knife or secateurs used to take cuttings. This infection may not produce obvious visible symptoms so reduced vigour and slow rooting can be overlooked.

Martyn Flint at Chrysanthemums Direct, Gold Medal winners at shows all over the country again this year, recognised the problem and has worked with chrysanthemum growers to choose the top exhibitors’ varieties and produce them by micro-propagation in the laboratory. As part of this process, virus diseases are eliminated. The resulting clean and healthy plants are known as Nuclear Stock. They perform much better for the gardener and grower.

Many many plants are now produced in the laboratory from roses to heucheras and hostas to petunias, and chrysanthemums produced for cut flowers are often propagated in this way. Now it’s the turn of exhibition varieties.

Twenty three varieties are being produced as Nuclear Stock and will be available from January 2012. Supplies will be limited, so it pays to order early.

Nuclear Stock of these exhibition chrysanthemums is available from Chrysanthemums Direct.

In the picture (click to enlarge):
Top Row (left to right): ‘Chempak Rose Purple’, ‘Courtier Apricot’, ‘John Wingfield Pink, ‘Fairweather Peach’.
Bottom Row (left to right): ‘William Florentine’, ‘John Hughes Yellow’, ‘Roy Coopland’, ‘Lyn Johnson’.

All images © Chrysanthemums Direct.

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