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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

Choisya ‘Aztec Gold’: New from Hillier

Posted by Graham Rice on 28 Apr 2012 at 10:39 AM

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl', new from Hillier. Image ©Hillier NurseriesYellow-leaved Choisya Sundance (‘Lich’) is one of the most popular shrubs in the country. At its best, it’s superb but it does have its problems. Now Hillier have raised and introduced a new and improved golden leaved choisya called ‘Aztec Gold’.

‘Aztec Gold’ (left, click to enlarge) is an attractive evergreen shrub with a rounded habit and reaches about 4ftx4ft/1.2x1.2m. Its leaves are split into slender, pointed segments which are rich burnished gold towards the tips and a slightly greenish yellow shade towards the base.

In spring and early summer, clusters of attractive, almond-scented white flowers appear and then after a break another flush opens in autumn.

‘Aztec Gold’ was developed by Alan Postill (right, click to enlarge) and is derived from ‘Aztec Pearl’ which provides the leaf shape together with versatility and resilience in the garden, and Sundance which brings the foliage colour. Alan worked at Hillier Nurseries as a propagator for fifty years and was also responsible for selecting and naming the prolific and impressively fragrant Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’.

Andy McIndoe of Hillier Nurseries explained why he thinks this is such a good Choisya 'Aztec Pearl', with its raiser Alan Postill. Image ©Hillier Nurseriesplant: “‘Aztec Gold’ is a golden foliage evergreen with a subtlety that will endear it to even those gardeners that “don’t do yellow”. In sun, the leaves at the ends of the shoots are rich golden yellow, while those in the heart of the plant maintain a greener hue. In shade, the overall colour leans towards lime; more subtle but still cheerily pleasing. The variation in the foliage colour between the young and old leaves gives the plant depth and a three dimensional quality often lacking in plain yellow evergreens.”

Happy in any reasonably fertile soil that is well drained, the brightest colour develops in full sun.

Choisya ‘Aztec Gold’ will be launched at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, but is already available from Hillier Online.

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