Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kiwi plant scores at Chelsea

I was poking around the specimens on the RHS Chelsea 2011 Plant of the Year stand, and came upon this Kiwi-bred sedge which was one of the finalists. Uncinia rubra 'Belinda's Find' is a neat little upright plant, with dramatically coloured foliage - the leaves are bronze with bright red margins. It's evergreen too, so it stays colourful right through winter. Big congrats to Malcolm Woolmore, from Lyndale Nurseries, who bred it; and Belinda too - it's named after the nursery worker who discovered it while walking along a sand dune.

The winning Plant of the Year 2011 was an anemone (Anemone 'Wild Swan') which had a lovely drift of white nodding flowers with a blue reverse. But my personal favourite finalist was the tropical pitcher plant, Nepenthes 'Princess'. It's a hybrid of N. ventricosa and N. mira and it's named after Kate Middleton - in fact the breeders, Borneo Exotics, are waiting to hear if they can officially name this cultivar Nepenthes 'Princess William of Wales'. Kate Middleton's getting so many plants named after her (as I mentioned there's also a 'William and Catherine' rose and a 'William and Catherine' sweetpea) she'll soon be able to have her very own tribute bed in Anglesey. The flowers are all very well, but the carnivorous nepenthes will give her some real horticultural street cred.

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