This sunny new variegated perennial never reverts to green and has mauve flowers too
Perennials that combine variegated foliage with attractive flowers can bring multiple seasons of colour to borders and containers. Variegated polemoniums do exactly that but, in the past, variegated varieties have all come with problems. Step forward ‘Golden Feathers’, a new variegated form of ‘Lambrook Mauve’ from Australia.
Graham Spencer, of Plants For Europe, who’s looking after the introduction of ‘Golden Feathers’ into Britain told me all about it.
“‘Polemonium ‘Golden Feathers’ started life as a sport identified in 2016 by the team at Australian plant breeders PGA InnovaBred, who have introduced a number of fine plants including Salvia ‘Ember’s Wish’”, he said. “It was found in a batch of ‘Lambrook Mauve’, which they had brought to Australia back in the 1990s.
“The clean and strong variegation stood out, so the first plant was put aside for observation. As the plant grew the variegation held firm and the ensuing plant was indeed a striking specimen – especially as the mauve flowers were displayed delightfully against the bright variegation. Multiplication was the next test, and this proved highly successful with divisions holding the variegation well and growing into handsome plants.”
Strong and stable
Compared with other variegated polemoniums ‘Golden Feathers’ is more compact and far more robust than the cream-edged ‘Brise d’Anjou’, and its variegation is bright yellow rather than the white. The flowers are also larger and more mauve than the small blue flowers of ‘Brise d’Anjou’. It’s also without the pink tints or tendency to scorch of other variegated varieties.
But most importantly, Graham Spencer told me, it doesn’t revert. “We have seen no reversion at all. We do see some new leaves that emerge all yellow, but they develop the green markings given time.”
Polemonium ‘Golden Feathers’ is available from Dobies and from Suttons.
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS.