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Graham Rice on Trials

Updates on trials and awards from the Royal Horticultural Society by Graham Rice

After the downpour at Wisley - Iris and Kniphofia

Posted by Graham Rice on 26 May 2009 at 10:28 PM

RHS Tall Bearded Iris trial. Image: ©GardenPhotos.comArrived at Wisley for today's trials assessment session soon after the thunderous downpour - and just look these irises!

This is the Tall Bearded Iris trial just an hour or two after the torrential rain early this morning. Every flower was still beaded with rain drops and yet - they look spectacular. As soon you start to walk down the steps towards the Portsmouth Field at Wisley where the trials are planted - they just leap out at you. My advice: get down there and see them, make a note of the ones you especially like and check in the RHS Plant Finder which nurseries list them.

Now - notice that plant at the back? You can hardly miss it. That's the best early flowering Kniphofia (red hot poker) by a million miles - Kniphofia ‘Atlanta'. Today it was genuinely spectacular and was a real star of the Kniphofia trial.

Kniphofia 'Atlanta'. Image: ©GardenPhotos.comTurns out another branch of the RHS is looking into the origins of Kniphofia ‘Atlanta' and Dr Christopher Whitehouse is leading the investigation: "We know that Neil Treseder of the famous Treseder's Nursery in Truro found it growing in the garden of the Atlanta Hotel in Tintagel in 1962. However, we believe that it was obtained from a Surrey garden 10 years previously where it probably grew under another name.  Although the Atlanta Hotel has been re-developed and Treseder's closed down many years ago, to resolve this conundrum we're looking to find other plants that may have originated from the Atlanta Hotel in the Tintagel area. We'd like people to send photographs of their May-flowering Kniphofia to rhsherbarium@rhs.org.uk to help us in our quest."

Got that? Please, send any photographs of your May-flowering Kniphofia to rhsherbarium@rhs.org.uk and please be sure to give the name you have for it and where you obtained it.

Thank you!

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