Ornamental cherry wins RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2024

A winter and spring flowering ornamental cherry with unusual pure white star-shaped flowers has won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Plant of the Year 2024 competition.

Exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 by Green Jjam Nurseries and bred by Ken Tobutt, the Prunus ‘Starlight’ was selected as the winner by over 180 experts from RHS Plant Committees and Trials Assessment Forums. 

In second place came Cosmos atrosanguineus CHERRY CHOCOLATE (‘Vg001’) with its large vibrant cherry-coloured flowers, delicious chocolate scent and contrasting yellow pollen. The plant, bred by Valin Genetics and supplied by Whetman Plants International, will be exhibited by Stonebarn & Gardeners’ Question Time.

Agave ‘Praying Hands’, exhibited by Stonebarn & Gardeners’ Question Time, bred by Hans Hansen and supplied byThompson & Morgan, took third place in the competition. The plant’s colourful foliage and striking shape make for a perfect pot specimen or mixed in with other succulents. Hardy to -5C and sun and drought tolerant, it is ideal for a changing climate.

This year, a mushroom made the shortlist for the first time. Pleurotus euosmus, a tarragon oyster mushroom, exhibited by Caley Brothers and bred by Adrian Ogden of Gourmet Woodland Mushrooms is quick and easy to cultivate for culinary use through growing kits and accessible to anyone regardless of space, experience and budget.

It was also the first time that voters took part in an online competition. The format was chosen so it could be widened to enable members of RHS Plant Committees and Trials Forums who are not able to attend the show to contribute their expertise.

Now in its 14th year, the RHS Plant of the Year competition takes place each year to celebrate new developments and innovations among the world of growers.

Emma Allen, RHS Head of Horticultural Relations, said: “I’m delighted to see the Prunus ‘Starlight’ has won this year. It has fabulous star-shaped flowers, really unusual, which are reminiscent of the star magnolia. Former winners have gone on to fly off the shelves, so we hope that this win brings similar future success.

“We are also delighted for everyone who has made the shortlist, as the competition showcases innovations and new plant features from the best of the plant breeding world for the domestic gardener.”

The annual RHS Plant of the Year winners and shortlisted entrants will be on display on the RHS Experience stand in the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 sponsored by The Newt in Somerset, which runs from Tuesday 21 May to Saturday 25 May.

Tickets are available to purchase at:


Notes to editors

For more information, interviews and images please contact the Shows PR Team at [email protected]
RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsored by The Newt in Somerset
Dates: 21-25 May 2024
Location: Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR    
Tickets from £47.85 (plus admin fee)                                                                                                 

About the RHS
Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. 

We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.  

Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.
Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings. For more information visit  

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.