Posts Tagged ‘new plant.’

Tough new long flowering perennial

October 5th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Heliopsis 'Burning Hearts'

This is a great year for new perennials. I discussed Echinacea ‘Green Twister’ here a week or two back, now here’s another superb new easy seed-raised perennial that flowers for months: Heliopsis ‘Burning Hearts’.

This tough perennial has two main features. The bronze foliage shows off its rich colouring from the moment it peeps through the soil in spring and still retains its dark tones now, in October.

Then from early summer onwards, the flowers open. Each bloom features, two or three rows of narrow, slightly twisted, slightly rolled back petals that are yellow changing to orange at the base around the reddish-orange eye.

Each stems carries opposite pairs of leaves, and two flowering shoots develop from the leaf joint. Then each leaf joint on each flowering stem also produces two flowering shoots and the result is a long succession of flowers giving a striking display. Dead heading is easy and makes a huge difference, prompting more branching and so more and more flowers.

I planted some small trial plants in the spring of last year and in their first summer they were superb. They all came back strongly after the winter, with the addition of a few self sown seedlings scattered around the garden. This summer they took the heat very well and I was still dead heading them yesterday and new flowers are still developing.

Heliopsis ‘Burning Hearts’ is one of the best new perennials I’ve seen for years.

A rather special coneflower

September 21st, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Echinacea 'Green Twister'

Two superb new seed-raised perennials are introduced this autumn, two of the best that I’ve grown for years, so I thought I’d better tell you about them. This week, a very impressive new coneflower.

Echinacea ‘Green Twister’ is unique amongst seed-raised echinaceas. Firstly, the colouring. As you can see, most of each petal is the usual coneflower purple but the turned up tips are bright green, at times almost luminous. And the flowers are huge, many are 15cm across and held on long stiff stems about 90cm tall.

My seedlings were given to me by the breeder last spring, grown on in 9cm pots and then planted out. Most plants flowered last year, all came happily through the winter and flower production this year has been impressive.

Large flowers on tall stems implies a need for support and, grown in good soil and planted in an open but sheltered place, they would have toppled if the usual canes and string had not been in place.

In the garden and cut for mixed bouquets the flowers always caused comment and, although one or two were a little cautious, most people who saw them loved them. They’re still flowering now.

There’s a similar, but smaller-flowered variety around called ‘Green Envy’ that’s raised by cuttings or division but I’ve found it weaker and variable – and you can buy two or three packets of seed of ‘Green Twister’ for the price of one plant of ‘Green Envy’. You know which one to go for.