Continuing my look at the new entries in the 2015 RHS Plant Finder stocked by the most nurseries, and so the most easy for gardeners to find, two plants with impressive foliage are high on the list: Blechnum brasiliense 'Volcano' and Sanguisorba ‘Little Angel’.
Blechnum brasiliense 'Volcano' is equal second most listed newcomer, stocked by eight nurseries, and is a more colourful and less tender version of an established Award of Garden Merit species from South America.
In spring, the young fronds unfurl in bright coppery pinkish red, a more striking colour than the form usually grown, and each frond is divided into pairs of toothed leaflets and may reach 75cm (30in) in length. As the leaves mature to rich green the plants form a striking shuttlecock shape and as the years pass, plants develop a short trunk up to about 30cm (1ft) or more in height.
‘Volcano’ was selected from a batch of plants left outside for two years in North Wales and has survived winter temperatures of -5ºC (23ºF). This extra hardiness, combined with its colourful new growth marked it out. It’s best grown outdoors as a summer container plant, then moved into a frost free place for the winter – just to be sure.
Sanguisorba ‘Little Angel’, stocked by seven nurseries, is a compact new variegated evergreen perennial.
Probably a form of the British native salad burnet, S. minor, its small, rounded, toothed leaves have a slightly bluish tint, are prettily edged in cream and may also develop pinkish tones. The leaves are edible, adding a slightly nutty and cucumber-like flavour to salads, but are best tasted when young. From July to September, the 40cm (16in) stems emerge through the mound of foliage and are topped with tight cylindrical flower heads in crimson red. Best grown in sun on any reasonable, preferably limy, soil that is well drained.
* Three new introductions from David Austin Roses also feature amongst the new entries listed by the most nurseries in the 2105 RHS Plant Finder. I discussed these here last autumn.
** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **