Exotics

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Begonia tapatia F&M 337 (new)

A collection from 2300m altitude in Sinaloa State, Mexico. A potentially fairly hardy, tuberous species with, in this form, white spotted, dark glossy purple-green foliage of very thick texture, white with green veins on the underside. Inflorescences of pink flowers rising about 30cm high in autumn. Grows on shady banks and moist rocky slopes in its natural setting.

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Begonia xanthina x hatacoa (?) (new)

Exceptionally good silver and green foliage; deep green net-veining with solid or splotched silver in-between, red washed under, on a plant to approx. 50cm tall. Pale yellow flowers. Possibly has some hardiness if mulched well, but safest potted and overwintered frost free until you have enough to play with. This remains evergreen if frost free.

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Cautleya gracilis from Nagaland (new)

This small ginger relative, with red and yellow flower spikes in late summer, was found in Nagaland on the Dzukou Massif at 2400m alt. A more delicate looking species than C. spicata, reaching about 60cm. Rich soil, sun/semi-shade

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Cautleya gracilis var. robusta 'Tenzing's Gold'

A fine form of this hardy ginger relative with more flowers per stem, usually between 15 and 20. Rich yellow flowers from red tinted bracts in late summer on stems to 50cm. The leaves have most attractive deep-red undersides. Enjoys a semi-shade position in good free draining soil that doesn't get too dry. Mulch over in winter if you live on Ben Nevis, but otherwise hardy if not waterlogged in winter.

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Cautleya spicata 'Arun Flame'

A collection of this hardy ginger relative from E. Nepal which has the darkest red stems to about 1m tall. Orange flushed rich yellow flowers emerging from deep-red bracts are produced atop the stems July to Sept and the leaf undersides are tinged purple-red. Enjoying a semi-shade position in good free draining soil that doesn't get too dry.

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Cautleya spicata 'Robusta'

Cautleya spicata 'Robusta'

A very exotic looking but hardy ginger relative with yellow and red flower spikes in August, borne atop clumps of luscious foliage to about 70cm. Enjoying a semi-shade position in good free draining soil that doesn't get too dry.

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Curculigo crassifolia NJM 10.123 (new)

Appearing like a young palm seedling with long linear-lance shaped corrugated evergreen foliage; deep green above and covered with pale beige hair beneath. This superb foliage plant was originally collected in N Vietnam, where it inhabits anything from rock ledges to bog edge. For milder gardens or superb in a pot, overwintered under cover.

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Dracunculus canariensis

Quite the opposite of the stinking D. vulgaris, this white flowered elegant beauty from the Canary Isles is generally smaller to about 1m tall. The slim white spathes with a pale yellow spadix inside are borne above the divided green foliage in spring to early summer. A winter growing species, dormant in summer, therefore needing cool glasshouse conditions. Rarely offered.

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Echeveria 'Ghostbuster'

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.

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Eriobotrya japonica 'Rose-Anne'

A new form, selected for hardiness on the continent. A small tree and one of great presence and exotic appearance. The evergreen leaves are corrugated, thick textured and with pale brown tomentum beneath, rich glossy green above and reach up to 30cm long. Scented white flowers in clusters produced after hot summers.

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Erythrina crista-galli

Erythrina crista-galli

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.

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Euphorbia stygiana

Euphorbia stygiana

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.

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Euphorbia stygiana subsp. santamariae

An extremely endangered and very recently introduced rarity that is limited to about 50 individuals in the wild on one Azorean island. Rather different from the straight species, this wants to be a small tree, as it is in the wild, with strong apical dominance and very vigorous growth. Foliage is quite different too, less leathery with a faint bluish bloom.

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Euphorbia x pasteurii 'John Phillips'

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.

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Euphorbia x pasteurii 'Phrampton Phatty'

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.

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Fascicularia bicolor subsp. canaliculata

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.

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Ficus aff. oligodon NJM 13.084 (new)

A collection from 1800m asl in Manipur, NE India, this is a tree for a very mild climate or one for a pot, overwintered in a conservatory. Splendid, handsome, very large ovate evergreen foliage with prominent impressed veins. Fruit are large dark-red, edible and sweet. Similar in many ways to F. auriculata, the Elephant Ear Fig.

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Globba radicalis PAB 10485

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.

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Hedychium 'Helen Dillon' (forrestii of hort.)

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!

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Hedychium aff. stenopetalum RF 148 (new)

A collection from Arunachal Pradesh, farthest NE India, of a ginger lily with the most magnificent foliage. Very large and long exotic looking leaves are topped by large heads of pure white spidery flowers in late summer. This flowers easily for me if overwintered under glass and summered outside after the last frosts, though it also seems fairly hardy in the garden so far.

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