Chelsea - the party's over
Glorious buttercups

Chelsea postscript - Spotty Dotty correction

Egg on face time, folks! Podophyllum 'Kaleidoscope' and NOT 'Spotty Dotty'!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.alt=

“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.


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Helen at Toronto Gardens

What a very cool plant. My guess is that it a) requires moist, rich, organic soil and that b) isn't hardy in USDA Zone 5. Yes? Double yes? Just my luck.

Graham Rice

Double yes, I'm afraid (zone 6). Needs protection from late spring frost too!


Graham - thanks so much for the mention and all the information about P. 'Spotty Dotty'!

I'm just putting my post together for Gardening Gone Wild's Plants for Shade design theme for this month where I'm talking about this plant as one of my take home ideas from Chelsea, so I'll link to your post here for those people wanting further information.


The plants in the picture(s) look more like 'Kaleidoscope' than 'Spotty Dotty' to me.

Graham Rice

Mark - I think you could be righgt. Both are listed on this page:

Cick on the pictures to enlarge.

I'll get in touch with the nursery that supplied the plant and see what they have to say.

Sue Ward

Graham, the plant is definitely Podophyllum 'Kaleidoscope', I designed and planted the stand at Chelsea. Also, the plant was grown by Piers Bowley of Bowley Plants ( and not by Kevin Hughes. Kevin grew the Actaea pachypoda 'Pewter & Pearls' that you also liked on the Hardy Plant Society stand.

Best Wishes,
Sue Ward

Graham Rice

Thank you, Sue. I was definitely told it was 'Spotty Dotty' and provided by Kevin! (I've checked my notes!) Having already checked the website of the people who introduced it, it's obvious it's 'Kaleidoscope'. I'll amend the text in the blog. It must have been because my 'Spotty Dotty' grew so poorly that it looked like the HPS plant!

Congratulations on the Gold Medal - briliant!

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