Egg on face time, folks! Well, there's a lesson. It turns out that this is 'Kaleidoscope' and not 'Spotty Dotty'! The info in my piece came from someone putting the exhibit together and the excitement of the occasion scrambled either my note-taking or their explanation. I apologise. I dare say we were both knackered.
And the superb specimen on display was in fact provided by Piers Bowley of Bowley Plants. Happy to make the correction, thanks to the designer of the exhibit Sue Ward for highlighgting the mistake in her comment to the original post.
I have to say that 'Kaleidoscope' is an appropriate name for the pattern on the foliage; the plant of 'Spotty Dotty' I grew did not thrive and faded away - apparently without developing foliage in its true character.
And what about that patent? The 'Spotty Dotty' patent text could well describe what I saw on the day. But look at the 'Kaleidoscope' patent and the description is more appropriate: "Beautiful large umbrella shaped leaves with a kaleidoscope look of color and pattern."
So mistake corrected. Bit of a blunder though, there are only two of these new hybrids and I got them confused! Sigh...
Yes, the specimen of Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ on the Gold Medal winning Chelsea Flower Show exhibit from the Hardy Plant Society was just superb; VP is right in her recent comment. Grown for the Hardy Plant Society exhibit by Kevin Hughes, ‘Spotty Dotty’ was created by Janet Egger at Terra Nova Nurseries in Portland Oregon. This plant has been patented, it’s interesting to quote some details of the patent.
“This new cultivar originated from a cross between Podophyllum hybrid ‘374’ (an unpatented proprietary plant) as the seed parent and Podophyllum delavayi ‘64’ (an unpatented proprietary plant) as the pollen parent. The seed parent, Podophyllum hybrid ‘374’, is an outstanding selection out of a hybrid swarm from a Japanese nursery, which is believed to have come from P. difforme, P. delavayi , and P. versipelle. The pollen parent, Podophyllum delavayi ‘64’ is a highly colored selection. The new cultivar was chosen for its outstanding foliage and vigor.
“This plant is characterized by the following:
1. Beautiful large umbrella shaped, lobed leaves with an attractive brown spotted spring color followed by green leaves with lighter spots.
2. Two leaves per crown that will increase in size with maturity to 40 cm. or more wide.
3. Numerous large red maroon flowers with maturity.
4. A rhizomatous habit.
5. Excellent vigor.”
I would only quarrel with point 5: my plant did not prove to be at all vigorous.
Smaller, less impressive plants were to be seen on other Chelsea Flower Show displays. The plant in its terracotta pot on the Hardy Plant Society exhibit was by far the most impressive. It just showed whata magnificent plant this can be when grown well.
Thanks VP for the reminder of what a great specimen was on show and what a great garden specimen Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ can be.