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An exceptionally pale blue new hybrid from the USA, vigorously forming clusters of plump rosettes. Sun and well drained compost with water in summer and a dry winter. Easy outside in summer and overwintered on a windowsill or glasshouse.
Echeveria secunda large form
Splendid glaucous rosettes to 30cm diameter if offsets are removed, otherwise a mass of smaller ones, though still large for the species. Orange and yellow flowers in summer. Fairly hardy, if planted vertically in a wall etc, but best kept dry inside until you've bulked up enough to experiment. Sun and excellent drainage.
Spectacular when in flower, indeed enough to bowl you over from 100 paces. Huge long heads of very big, intense crimson, waxy pea flowers borne in summer from coral buds, all atop prickly herbaceous stems with impressive trifoliolate leaves. Naturally a small tree in its native Brazil, but in this country cut back to a stump each winter. Warm wall and winter mulch please.
The true Azorean species with impressive rosettes of thick, leathery, rich green foliage at the ends of low, serpentine, green stems. Yellowy-brown clusters of slightly honey-scented flowers are seen in May/June. A few specialist nurseries sell the hybrid E. x pasteurii as this species, though they aren't that similar. Hardier than E. mellifera. Best in sun.
Euphorbia x pasteurii 'John Phillips'
A new, robust clone of this marvellous hybrid spurge, received from and named after a fine and generous plantsman from Wiltshire who was probably the first to grow it in the UK. Some E. x pasteurii can look very like E. mellifera: this does not, with big broad foliage and a very vigorous constitution. Honey scented flowers. Very tough but safest in a sheltered spot.
Euphorbia x pasteurii 'Phrampton Phatty'
A clone growing here in my garden, which has turned out to be quite distinct. It has formed a wide spreading, dense, evergreen dome, wider than high, covering the ground efficiently. E. mellifera gives it the dense uniform head of superb foliage and the other parent E. stygiana gives the broad spreading habit. Expect height about 1.5m and spread 2.5m.
Fascicularia bicolor subsp. bicolor
Slightly less hardy than its cousin subsp. canaliculata, though this one is more succulent, with thicker textured, narrow, slightly spiny foliage, forming evergreen rosettes that bulk up quite quickly to form patches. Vivid blue flowers surrounded by a strong central zone of scarlet leaf bases, when each individual rosette is good and ready. Best in sun with shelter.
Fascicularia bicolor subsp. canaliculata
A virtually completely hardy bromeliad, rarely affected by frost here and in cold areas merely needing a very sheltered site. Quite extraordinary in flower when the central leaves of the dark green rosettes of very thin, toothed foliage turn bright scarlet before the fat cluster of sky blue fleshy flowers open. Grow in well drained soil in sun or part shade.
Globba radicalis (new)
Dancing Ladies. An apparently fairly hardy ginger from NE India with a twice flowering habit. The first inflorescence arises before the foliage in early summer with the second flowering in late summer, then producing tuberlets. The inflorescences are bizarre and beautiful, not easily described here, composed of palest white-mauve flowers with yellow markings.
Hedychium 'Helen Dillon' (forrestii of hort.)
One of the hardiest gingers and a superb foliage plant, this is what goes around as H. forrestii in cultivation, but is definitely not that species. Exotic, orchid-like white flowers with orange stamen make up a loose inflorescence in late summer/autumn on very leafy pseudostems to 1.8m. Rich soil in sun or part shade. Bone hardy here, even without mulch through 2010!
Hedychium 'Khang Khui Tall Boy' (new)
Found in the wilds of Eastern Manipur at 1600m asl, at the epicentre of Hedychium diversity, this had pseudo-stems to 2.5m tall. Unseen in flower as yet.
Hedychium coccineum 'Hungphung Stripe' (new)
From Manipur, NE India, this new form has striking leaves up to 60cm long with a pale white green stripe along the midrib, held in a particularly distichous 'ladder fashion'; at right angles up the pseudostems. Makes plants to about 2m high. So new it has yet to flower here.
Hedychium coccineum 'Shillong Ghost'
Recently found on Shillong Peak, N.E. India, this hardy and reliable ginger lily produces large spikes of vivid red-orange flowers over blue-green foliage in late summer. This flowers outside even in very cool, dull summers. Height 1.5m
Hedychium densiflorum 'Assam Orange'
This is one of the hardiest of all ginger lilies. Dense spikes of small burnt orange flowers on leafy stems to about 1.2m in late summer. Sun or part shade in a sheltered position, mulch in winter. Originally discovered by Frank Kingdon Ward in 1938. Mulch over in winter if you're worried about cold.
Hedychium densiflorum 'Sorung'
A very distinct form of the species, found by the late great Edward Needham in Nepal. Larger than usual flowers, in the style of the cultivar 'Stephen', are a most unusual pale pinkish-orange. Tough, hardy and easy in the garden.
Hedychium densiflorum 'Stephen'
A tough Ginger lily suited to outdoor culture. Exotic foliage and dense spikes of soft yellow, delicately scented flowers, with contrasting deep-orange anthers, in late summer atop 1.2m stems. Sun or part shade. Flower spike larger than most other forms of H. densiflorum. Tough, hardy and easy in the garden.
Hedychium densiflorum MW ex Salween
A distinct Michael Wickendon collection from the Salween Valley in NW Yunnan. A very hardy ginger lily for permanent garden planting, showing lush foliage to about 1m and slim dense spikes of soft pinkish-orange flowers in late summer/autumn.
Hedychium ellipticum PAB 7361 (new)
A splendid, highly attractive and distinct species with a great boss of cream flowers with long extending orange stamen, radiating fully around the inflorescence, borne in late summer on leafy stems to 1.2m. Foliage is broad; the bases of which mark the stems with red. Possible outside in mild areas, but an excellent pot plant. Rich soil in sun or semi-shade.
One of the finest Ginger lilies for foliage. 1.2m stems are maroon tinted, with leaves green above and a sumptuous deep maroon on the reverse. Shortish heads of fairly large and flamboyant flowers are seen late in the season and for this reason it's best to keep it as a pot plant, though it's really rather hardy in the ground if mulched over for winter.
Hedychium spicatum - from Gongshan
A Michael Wickendon collection from near Gongshan in NW Yunnan. This species has a wide distribution and is variable with it. This collection has dense inflorescences with a fair amount of yellow in the otherwise generally cream flowers. A very hardy ginger lily for permanent garden planting, showing lush foliage to about 1m and flowers in late summer/autumn.
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