The new edition of the RHS Plant Finder is just out [in the warehouse 6 April] and this year the new plant stocked by the most nurseries is a lovely new ornamental grass Hakonechloa macra SunFlare ('Habsf1007') which is stocked by nine nurseries.
Variegated and yellow-leaved versions of this neat, elegant and - importantly - well-behaved grass have been popular for years: ‘Alboaurea’ and ‘Aureola’ have been awarded AGMs and are widely available.
Now comes a new form from Canada with deep red splashes at the tips of the yellow leaves. In bright light the foliage is golden yellow with deep burgundy colouring at the leaf tips, in shadier sites the leaves are more lime-green in colour with paler red colouring at the tips.
The colouring is retained right through the season from spring to autumn when the whole plants turns green, reddish-purple, golden yellow and orange. It develops the same elegant fountain-like habit of the more familiar forms.
There are two other varieties of Hakonechloa with red tips to the leaves. ‘Beni-Kaze’ has green foliage that only develops its reddish-purple colouration in autumn. It’s also less vigorous and has a tendency to revert. ‘Nicolas’ also has green foliage, but it develops fiery orange and red colours over half the length of the leaf or more, but only in autumn. This too is less vigorous.
SunFlare was spotted by Lyle G Courtice as a sport on a container grown plant of ‘All Gold’ on his nursery in British Columbia, Canada, in the spring of 2010.
To find stockists of Hakonechloa macra SunFlare ('Habsf1007'), please see the 2018 RHS Plant Finder.