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There are few early spring flowering perennials as charming and easy-to-grow as Pulsatillas. Why then, does this beautiful genus seem so hidden from the mainstream? Hellebores, now an undisputed champion for late winter and early spring gardens, struggled until breeders, including Jelitto, recognized that there might be an upside to any perennial that fit sensible, salable criteria: colorful, durable and long-lived. Of course, it took years of breeding work to stabilize individual Hellebore colors, but Jelitto's effort was worthwhile. Late winter and early spring gardens should now always include Hellebores.
Pulsatillas fill a similar early season niche for edging, the front of the border, the rock garden or containers. Jelitto has paid attention and is excited to add to its long catalog list of Pulsatillas. 'Perlen Glocke' has beautiful bell-shaped flowers of the softest pink that resemble crocuses.
Pulsatillas are sometimes called windflowers due to the decorative seed heads that resemble feathery plumes - a beautiful bonus. Another common name is Pasque flower since they flower around Passover.
William Robinson, who could heap scorn as well as praise wrote fondly about Pulsatillas in The English Flower Garden, first published in 1883: "There are few sights more pleasant to the lover of spring flowers than the Pasque Flower just showing through the dry grass of a bleak down on an early spring day."
Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus' set the standard for coneflowers. The remarkably affordable, uniform seed strain has been one of the most popular perennials worldwide since Jelitto's 1985 introduction. Named in honor of it's originator Magnus B. Nilsson, who spent ten years of selection work before offering it to Klaus R. Jelitto, it went on to earn the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (A.G.M.) in 2003 and the Perennial Plant Association's Plant of the Year (1998).
But even the standard can be improved, and now celebrating the Silver Anniversary of 'Magnus', Jelitto marks the milestone with the introduction of 'Magnus Superior'. Darker blooms and stem color, plus more consistent growth, are its finest characteristics. The spiny-looking bold cones, even larger than 'Magnus', are decorative, too. (So decorative that the Genus got it's name Echinacea from the Greek echinos which means: hedgehog.)
How many of you have simply grown nostalgic for a new, truly improved "purple" coneflower? 'Magnus Superior' is cost-effective. It is a reliable garden performer, and it is easy to propagate. Help us celebrate 25 years of making the best, better. 'Magnus Superior' is available only from Jelitto in 2010.
Deschampsia 'Pixie Fountain' is a new, lower-growing Jelitto introduction, only one-half the height 60 cm (24") of the ordinary tufted hair grass. It is also a marvelous long-lived, dense clump-forming, consistent seed strain with darker evergreen foliage and slightly wider upright leaves. The lovely cloud-like airy blooms appear in June on sturdy stems, opening a bright light green, and maturing to golden tan by early fall. The prolific flowering effect is noticeably enhanced by backlighting.
'Pixie Fountain' can be extraordinarily effective when it is planted in large groupings, or as an edging plant, in full sun in cooler summer climates. An open woodland setting would be preferred in warmer summer climates. The foliage of Deschampsia 'Pixie Fountain' self-cleans and is therefore one of the easiest of all ornamental grasses to maintain.
Mass plantings look outstanding and can be combined with Euphorbia palustris, Luzula sylvatica 'Solar Flair' and Primula japonica 'Appleblossom'. Flowering stems - fresh or dried - make nice cut-flowers, too.
Deschampsia cespitosa is a species that grows in humus-rich, moist soils, even in bogs, over much of the cooler regions of north temperate portions of Europe, Asia and North America. Our seeds of this Deschampsia originated from the far North, and we estimate it to be hardy in Zones 2 - 7 - more so than the ordinary species.
Who were first to fall in love with hollyhocks? We think we've got the
latest, and the best breeding with the 2010 introduction of the
Spotlight Series, but we can't claim to have been there first with our
affection. There are archaeological remains of hollyhocks, from
excavations in Iraq, dating back to the Neanderthals that are older than
Jelitto has had a passion for easy-to-grow Alceas for many years. The
catalogue includes an enviable offering from wild species to popular
older double flowering strains. Breeding on the single-flowering
Spotlight-Series began in 1992 and, though the task was challenging, we
felt that the development of consistent strains in straight colors of
Alcea rosea would be worth the effort. Stable, individual selections in
yellow, white, red and black-purple are now available. Additional
colours will become available in the near future.
Hollyhocks have had enormous appeal for a long time and it's hard to
improve on Henry Phillips' praise, in 1824 in his Flora Historica, when
he wrote, "Its noble size, majestic height and splendid flowers could
not fail to attract the attention of our earliest collectors of exotic
plants..." Even now, it is seldom that you look through a perennial
catalogue and not find a few hollyhocks. Gardeners love them. And for
professional growers, Jelitto's hyper-cleaned JET® seed improves
germination and makes Alceas much easier to handle, especially when
The Spotlight-Series is perennial (not biennial) and will flower during the first season when sown early.
The grey-purple, hollow-stemmed Eupatorium fistulosum, commonly called Joe-Pye or Queen of the Meadow, is a stunning presence of eastern North American moist meadows, and a proven magnet for butterflies. This bold perennial just got better.
Jelitto is pleased to introduce 'Ivory Towers', after years of selection work to stabilize the white blooms on Eupatorium fistulosum var. albidum. Growers will be happy with the seed strain's consistency and the easy-to-germinate JELITTO GOLD NUGGET SEED® option. A profusion of late summer blooms terminating in large clusters of ivory white blooms distinguish Jelitto's new introduction.
The graceful 'Ivory Towers', an architectural giant for the back of the border, grows to 200 cm tall and is hardy in Zones 3 - 8. Besides being beautiful, durable and long-lived 'Ivory Towers' looks great with other majestic perennials and grasses like Helianthus 'Lemon Queen Strain', Erianthus ravennae and Hibiscus coccineus. 'Ivory Towers' will flower the first year, at one-half the eventual mature size, if sown early in the season.
The economic necessity of growing shorter plants for ease of production and shipping has kept many fine statuesque perennials out of the garden centers. We all know, however, that the gardening public wants it all and a bold plant even in a small space has a visual impact and appeal that cannot be matched by the compact and dwarf. Bigger is better in the case of 'Ivory Towers'.
Jelitto's new Trollius europaeus 'Lemon Supreme' is half the height 30 cm (12") of the wild species, has a slightly paler yellow flower color and an even more compact habit than many of the long-standing popular cultivars of this buttercup relative. The tidy clumps have handsome, lobed foliage and each erect stem (there can be a dozen or more) supports a single, rounded, plump yellow bud that opens to a perfect little bowl of lemon yellow. In addition to these lovely spring blooms, 'Lemon Supreme' often flowers again in autumn.
Few wildflowers, in native habitats, are as endearing as globe flowers when discovered - sometimes in abundance - in the mountains and cool, moist meadows of Europe, Asia and North America. There are nearly thirty species worldwide and Trollius europaeus, predominantly a European native with an outpost in New Brunswick, Canada, has been the principal species of garden hybridizing for over one hundred years. Trollius 'Lemon Supreme' looks magnificent combined in the cool, humus-rich garden with Primula japonica 'Alba', Potentilla nepalenis 'Ron McBeath' and Deschampsia 'Pixie Fountain'.
Some flowering on 'Lemon Supreme' can be expected the first year from seed (a significant improvement over the species) and full flowering will occur the second spring.
'Lemon Supreme' is hardy in zones 4 - 7 and also available in easy-to-germinate JELITTO GOLD NUGGET SEED®.