The 2019 edition of the RHS Plant Finder is just out and there are 3,875 new entries with plenty of exciting new varieties included.
Leading the list of plants stocked by the most nurseries, and so the easiest to find, is Salvia 'Amethyst Lips' listed by ten nurseries. This is the deep blue and white version of the popular red-and-white ‘Hot Lips’ that I discussed here when it first became available.
Other salvias also make an impact this year but - I’ll be taking a look at these soon – but following from Salvia 'Amethyst Lips' is a Distylium, a genus of which you may be unaware.
Distylium is an evergreen member of the witch hazel family, about a dozen species originate in Asia and Central America but they’re rarely screen in gardens.
Back in 2006, woody plant guru Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia in the southern USA collected open pollinated seed from a hybrid distylium, the result of crossing two Asian species D. myricoides and D. racemosum. Two of the resulting seedlings were selected and one of them, Distylium Blue Cascade (‘PIIDIST-II’), is now available.
Blue Cascade makes a neat evergreen shrub reaching about 75cm in height and half as wide. The bronzed new foliage matures to bluish green leathery leaves with a green central vein and green undersides. In April and May upright spikes of glistening red flowers appear.
This is an adaptable shrub for sun or partial shade or as a container specimen. More varieties are on the way…
Distylium Blue Cascade (‘PIIDIST-II’) is available from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries. [Link needed]
The new edition of the RHS Plant Finder is available from the RHS online bookshop.
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.