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Lewisias have long held a special interest in rock gardens, and as pot plants. But they have been considered a little fussy unless they were planted with sufficient drainage and their foliage was protected from too much overhead watering.
'Little Plum' may change that. The plants, on our trial fields, have endured four years unprotected, and without special care.
In spite of cold and wet winters 'Little Plum' has grown vigorously and flowered magnificently with over 100 blossoms counted on two year old plants! In addition, it has an unusually long flowering period from April through mid-June, and blooming again in September.
These characteristics are noteworthy but the uniformity of the purple-pink blossoms, with just a hint of orange upon opening, has really caught our eye.
The rather large flowering 2,5 cm (1") wide, flowers occur on compact, upright flowering stems. This is an advantage for pot plant production. The leathery, lance-shaped leaves form dark, shiny evergreen rosettes and are decorative year round.
'Little Plum' was found in Scotland as a chance seedling, probably from a cross with L. longipetala and L. cotyledon. 'Little Plum' breeds absolutely true from Jelitto seed.
Further selection on the celebrated 'Magnus', the American Perennial Plant Association's Plant of the Year in 1998, has produced an improved seed strain. Call it the "Opus Magnus" since 'Rubinstern' represents another great accomplishment with its stronger, more intense, carmine-red colored petals.
The blossoms, borne on sturdy stems, exhibit the same refined, horizontal petal arrangement as 'Magnus'. Both 'Rubinstern' and 'Magnus' would be excellent choices for cut flowers and border perennials.
The original true seed of 'Rubinstern' and 'Magnus' is available only from Jelitto.
The vegetative form of the seed-propagated Scabiosa columbaria 'Nana' is named 'Butterfly Blue' and it has been selected as the Year 2000 Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association (USA).
Comparable to 'Butterfly Blue', 'Nana' is a heavy blooming, dwarf seed strain and produces lavender-blue pincushion-like flowers in great abundance for virtually the entire growing season. Scabiosa columbaria 'Nana' is distinguished by its compact habit and, like 'Butterfly Blue', will grow only 25 cm (10") tall.
'Butterfly Blue' can only be propagated from cuttings, but 'Nana' can be grown consistently from seed and performs true to colour and habit.
This dwarf seed strain has its roots in Japan and is named after an Italian cartoon character Calimero, a baby chicken who explored the world with half an egg shell on its head!
'Calimero' is a dwarf columbine growing only to 20 cm (8"). The dainty flowers, standing clearly above the compact foliage, consist of purplish wine-red petals with a soft yellow, tube-shaped corolla.
The flowers are reminiscent of Semiaquilegia and are abundantly produced on branched stems from the beginning of May through mid-June.
The Compact Maiden's Tears has grey-green, broadly lanceolate leaves and forms tidy, evergreen cushions. The delicate, soft-pink, carnation-like flowers with balloon-like calyxes, are carried on short (10 cm/4") stems just above the neat cushions.
This is at its best during bloom from June through August but even out of flower, the Compact Maiden's Tears is admirable for its highly decorative foliage.
It provides a lovely contrast with the flowers and remains attractive all season in containers, the rock garden, or hanging over walls.
The Meadow Cranesbill is considered among hardy Geraniums to be easy-to-grow and uncomplicated. Numerous forms, and color variations, are available already but none of them is as striking, and unusual, as this bicolored 'Striatum'. This form is also offered under the marketing name of 'Splish Splash' in England.
The large white blossoms are brilliantly blue-striped and irregularly speckled in an eye-catching fashion that never fails to turn heads. This feature assures spontaneous garden center sales during bloom from June to August.
The spectacular flowers are held above attractive, deeply divided, lobed foliage which will turn a brilliant orange-red color in Autumn. Tolerant of slightly more alkaline soils, this unusual seed strain will grow 50 - 80 cm (20" - 30") tall and wide. 'Striatum' would be an excellent selection in evenly moist soils where summer temperatures are not too hot.
'Striatum' is available also in easy-to-germinate JELITTO GOLD NUGGET SEED®.
White flowering Candytufts are endearing Spring bloomers in every perennial catalog. And now, for the first time from Jelitto, we are introducing an intriguing pink flowering seed strain. 'Sweetheart' will extend the flowering time of Iberis into summer. Consider this as "sweets for the sweet"!
'Sweetheart' forms thick, bushy cushions with dark green, lanceolate-spathulate leaves - comparable to Iberis sempervirens - and grows up to 15 cm (6") high and 25 cm (10") in diameter. From May into June the densely crowded corymbs with dozens of intense pink blossoms, turning to brilliant lilac, will make a dazzling appearance.
Iberis aurosiaca 'Sweetheart' is distinguished by its rich flowering and is well-suited for rock gardens and wall planting in full sun. It would be hard to imagine not being tempted by something this sweet in Candytufts.
This easy-to-grow white flowering seed strain of the low-growing Alpine Catchfly is a great candidate for pot production.
Tidy tufts of slender leaves clustered in neat rosettes, support short stems with thick umbel-like flower heads. The snow-white flowers, up to 1 cm (1/2") in diameter, appear in great abundance from May to mid-June.
Beyond its usefulness as a pot plant, imagine this in the rock garden, or even used as an edging plant along walkways. Or simply plant 'Snow Flurry' in the front of the border.
The Hoary Evening Primrose might be mistaken for the Common Missouri Evening Primrose (Oenothera missouriensis) with a few noteworthy exceptions. This delightful subspecies has a very attractive silvery (hoary) look to the leaves, created by a thick covering of tiny hairs. The stems are shorter and slightly more upright with a faint reddish look.
Forming silvery mats, this subspecies native to Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, has bright yellow, saucer-shaped, 10 cm (4") flowers that bloom over a long season from May to September.
Plant it in the larger rock garden, on top of walls, as a ground cover, or in the front of the border in full sun.