Finally, in my last look at award-winning seed-raised plants for 2012, from both sides of the Atlantic, a Fleuroselect Gold Medal winning hollyhock and All-America Selection chili pepper, developed in Britain. For more on All-America Selections and Fleuroselect, see my earlier post.
Hollyhock ‘Spring Celebrities Crimson’
The Spring Celebrities Series of hollyhocks has been developed in Holland, and represents the latest in dwarf, annual hollyhocks. OK, for many (most?) of us that’s a problem in itself: hollyhocks should be tall and elegant, and so they should be biennial – sow seed one year, flower the next. Right?
The point about their being short, and flowering from a spring sowing, is that they fit better into the growing regimes that growers already have established and so the plants are more likely to find their way into garden centres.
‘Spring Celebrities Crimson’ reaches just 2ft/60cm in height and those rich red, 3-4in/8-10cm double flowers are very pretty. It flowers from a spring sowing because, unlike most hollyhocks, it doesn’t need a period of cold to initiate flowering. Other colours in the series are soft pink, lilac, lemon, carmine rose, purple, and white.
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Chili pepper ‘Cayennetta’
This is a chili pepper, developed by a British company, that’s an All-America Selection – how’s that for Transatlantic success. And with a plant that until recently hardly anyone in Britain grew.
‘Cayennetta’ produces bright red fruits, green at first, about 3-4in/7.5-10cm long on bushy and well branched, rather upright plants that fill out well and don’t usually need any support. It’s ideal in a container. The fruits are relatively mild, slightly spicy, with an SHU rating of 10-20,000,
What’s more, ‘Cayennetta’ not only thrives at cooler temperatures than most chilies but it’s also good in heat; the dense foliage helps protect the fruits from sun scorch.
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