Last summer, visitors to RHS Garden Wisley were invited to choose their favourite from a range of 80 new varieties of summer flowers. A huge number of new flowers are introduced each year, and this was only a selection of varieties mainly intended for patio planting, but the winner was one which has already been winning awards. And it won with a significant lead over the second-placed variety.
Coleus Campfire (correctly Solenostemon scutellarioides Campfire (‘Uf12823’) is leading the way in the revival of coleus as foliage plants for summer display. Plants of Campfire are upright and bushy, ideal as a specimen in a large container or in a sunny border.
The bold coppery foliage comes with a hint of pink, especially in the shoot tips, and becomes more vivid in full sun. Also, with so many coleus it’s necessary to pinch out the flowers regularly through the summer but Campfire produces no flowers until very late in the season.
Campfire was developed by David G Clark and Grayson M Clark of Florida Foundation Seed Producers, who have developed many fine new coleus in recent years.
It was first trialled in 2012, and in 2015 was picked out as the best variety by 3,000 visitors, both home and professional gardeners, from a huge display of old and new varieties at the gardens of Ball Colegrave who distribute the plant to nurseries. It was also shortlisted for the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show Plant of The Year.
Coleus Campfire is available by mail order from J. Parkers. It will also be available in garden centres later this spring.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS