Friday, August 20, 2010


One might be tempted to think of Hypericum as a rather staid, floral item. like yesterday's cold mashed potatoes, but breeders have been making refreshing developments in the size of the berries, the amount of buds on the corymbs and the diversity of color. These days the colors run the gamut from red to orange, through yellow, green and even white!
A mere ten years ago the products could not be imported into the USA, but in 2001 the USDA allowed the importation of the "fruits" of the Hypercium plants and the  torrent of hybridization seemed to have started at about the same time.
At first there was only the "Excellent Flair" a rusty brown which is now known to the world as "Dolly Parton" and as such has enjoyed a new lease on life.
Then came "Pinky Flair" and a few others in the "Flair" series. Hilsea Farms in Ecuador introduced several hybrids  including some attractive green varieties such as "Green Condor".
Then came the "Magical" series, which featured a lot of new, prime colors such as yellow and orange, as well as the first whites. However, some of the cultivars were rather prone to rust as well as the berries being somewhat small.
Recently a new series from Global Plants BV, a breeder based in Holland has introduced the "Romance" line of Hypericum cultivars which offers interesting colors, a good size of drupes and deep green healthy foliage.
 I have featured some of these before, but here is a look at the most recent additions; from top to bottom are "True Romance"; "Blushing Romance" and "Cool Romance".
"True Romance" features a tomato red color, in that it has a hint of pink underneath the skin, and features very large, glossy fruits.
"Blushing Romance" has an abundant amount of  terminal corymbs on each stem with a very subtle apricot-pink color.
"Cool Romance" is a delicate white drupe that looks as though  it were created from fine porcelain, with slightly translucent berries of a tone that would go perfectly with "Patience" garden roses or "Crème de la Crème".

"Fine Romance "is a classic song from a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie called 'Swingtime'; interpreted  by Frank Sinatra.
Have a great weekend!

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