Monday, 3 June 2013

Verbascum summer spikes

Verbascum hybrids

Mullein produce tall flower spikes during early or mid-summer. Recently, many new varieties have been bred, giving a wide range of colours including white, yellow, gold, tan, purple, pink and red.
There are about 300 species of annuals, biennials and short-lived perennials, native mainly to Europe and Turkey, where they grow on poor, dry soils or recently disturbed ground.

Verbascum (Cotswold Group) "Cotswold Beauty" AGM

Verbascum (Cotswold Group) "Gainsborough" AG
Verbascum have a bad reputation if they are the large grey leaved biennials which can become a nuisance if allowed to seed around. Most hybrids that are perennial are also sterile so division or root cuttings are the way to multiply them.
Cotswold beauty has green leaves and can tolerate part shade.
Verbascum "Freefolk Yellow"

Verbascum "Hardy's Gold"

Gainsborough has grey green leaves and is a variety that prefers a sunny aspect with free draining soil. If you want re-blooming then cut off the first flowers early.
This is a very beautiful pale yellow variety that looks superb planted with grasses.

Freefolk yellow is one of our own selections with much larger individual flowers than its parent chaixii.

Hardy's Gold is a selection from phoeniceum hybrids and as such is a short lived perennial.
The phoeniceum hybrids are a seed selection and are many biennial to short lived perennial, they have large flowers on short stems 45-60cm maximum.

Verbascum chaixii album is a variety that is perennial and will also seed true to type. It can be grown in most gardens in any position.
Kynaston on the other-hand is a grey leaved perennial form from the sandy soils of Formby, Lancashire. A very statuesque plant.
Verbascum chaixii Album
Verbascum "Kynaston"

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