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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

Colourful new heleniums from Special Perennials

Posted by Graham Rice on 09 Oct 2013 at 04:16 PM

Helenium 'Hot Lava', new from Special Perennials. Image ©Darwin PlantsOnce seen as reliable workhorses of the autumn garden, heleniums are now being appreciated for the fine perennials they are and their value is increasingly appreciated not only in sunny borders but as cut flowers. Two new introductions, both developed in Holland, and available from Helenium specialists Special Perennials, continue the development od these easy-to-grow perennials.

An important feature of Helenium 'Hot Lava' (left, click to enlarge) is the fact that the petals do not turn down, as they do in so many heleniums, and so greatly reduce the impact of the colour. In fact the tips of the petals are slightly upturned; it makes a huge difference. The petals open almost yellow, the develop orange and red streaks and mature to red.

The plant is stout and upright, with unusually sturdy stems, and reaches about 90cm, with a constant succession of bloom from July to October, each individual flower lasting unusually well.

Helenium 'Ruby Charm' (right, click to enlarge) also features slightly upturned petals and its other Helenium 'Ruby Charm', new from Special Perennials. Image ©Darwin Plantsstandout features are its consistently rich red colouring - this is probably the darkest red helenium around – maturing to a slightly fierier shade and its unusually compact habit, reaching just 60cm in height. And, like ‘Hot Lava’, its flowering season is unusually long.

The flowers of these heleniums last well in a vase if not cut too soon; wait until most of the flowers on a stem are open before cutting.

You can order plants of Helenium 'Hot Lava' from Special Perennials
You can also order plants of Helenium 'Ruby Charm' from Special Perennials


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