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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

Weigela Magical Rainbow: New from Hayloft Plants

Posted by Graham Rice on 28 Feb 2013 at 04:07 PM

Weigela Magical Rainbow ('Kolmagira'): good flowers and good foliage. Image ©Hayloft PlantsWe’ve seen quite a few new variegated weigelas in recent years, some have been very colourful while some have been disappointing. Magical Rainbow ('Kolmagira') is different in that as well as the attractively cream-edged foliage there’s a strong pink or reddish tint in the summer growth.

Reaching about 3-5ft/0.9-1.5m in height, and about the same in width, Magical Rainbow branches well to create a bushy plant. The leaves are wider than those of most weigelas and retain their variegation from when the leaves open in April till they fade and fall in October. The red colouring of the shoots harmonises with the red tinted summer leaves.

In May and June, the flowers open. In the usual flared trumpet shape, each bloom is pale pink and a darker shade, almost red, on the backs – especially towards the base of the tube of the flower. This dark colouring shows through into the throat of the flower. The flowers are sterile, they produce no seed capsules or seeds, which helps encourage prolific flowering.

Happiest in full sun, the foliage does not scorch, and in any reasonably fertile soil, trials at the RHS Garden at Wisley revealed that it does not thrive in shade. Prune after flowering, or not at all.

Magical Rainbow was developed by Dutch plant breeder Peter Kloster in a breeding programme designed to develop attractive new variegated weigelas.

Weigela Magical Rainbow ('Kolmagira') has been available very occasionally in the past, but is now available more widely from Hayloft Plants.



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