Herbaceous & Bulbous

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Acanthus spinosus Spinosissimus Group

Exceptionally deeply divided and particularly spiny, rich green leaves on this most extreme expression of the species from the drier end of its wild range. Spires of soft mauve and white hooded flowers in summer if in full sun, but a splendid mound of textured foliage in any case. Height 120cm.

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Agapanthus 'Black Pantha'

A very richly coloured evergreen type with rounded heads of deep violet-blue flowers opening from very dark buds on stems to 90cm in late summer. For a sunny position in a sheltered border, or in a pot overwintered under glass. This was raised originally as a seedling from open pollinated A. praecox. subsp. orientalis 'Blue', so won't be the hardiest.

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Agapanthus 'Stellenbosch' (new)

A selection I made from hundreds of seedlings at Jim Holmes' nursery in South Africa many years ago. Pure white flowers have the drooping appearance of A. inapertus, but have widely opening trumpet-like mouths, making for an attractive and different look to most Agapanthus. Full sun and good soil.

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Agapanthus 'Windsor Grey'

Agapanthus 'Windsor Grey'

A rare and choice African Lily cultivar. Huge heads of dove-grey flowers in summer. Height 1m. Sun.

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Agapanthus inapertus 'Lydenburg' (new)

Good mid-blue, very drooping flowers with flared mouths in large heads on stout 1.2m stems. Arose at Kirstenbosch and thought to be a hybrid of two wild forms of inapertus. For a sunny position in good soil.

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Agapanthus inapertus 'Tempest' (new)

A new variety, named here. The drooping tubular flowers are the colour of the darkest of storm clouds, a really deep greyish-blue. Stems to approx. 1m. For sun and well drained soil.

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Agapanthus inapertus Tall pale blue form

Agapanthus inapertus Tall pale blue form (new)

Heads of pale blue, very pendulous tubular flowers on stout, very tall 1.5m stems. For a sunny position in good well drained soil.

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Agastache 'Black Adder'

Vertical spikes of lavender-purple flowers emerging from very dark buds over a long period from mid to late summer/early autumn. Beloved of butterflies etc, this is a drought resistant plant for well drained soil in sun. Height to 80cm.

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Alchemilla alpina

A tough little arctic-montane perennial forming low clumps of pretty little deeply lobed leaves, each edged with a silvery hairy lining. Yellow flowers in spring/early summer up to 30cm. A much smaller plant than A. mollis for a well drained site in sun or semi shade, excellent at the edge of a border or for self seeding into gravel etc.

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Allium chinense

A hardy evergreen clump forming species, the leaves of which are used like chives in Asian cuisine. The bulbs are also eaten, raw or cooked. Terminal heads of deep mauve flowers in Sept/Oct. Sun.

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Allium hookeri 'Zorami'

Leaves used in Asian cooking, and delicious they are too. A vigorous long flowering clone recently found in Mizoram, NE India by Paul Barney. Relatively tall robust flowering stems with terminal white drumsticks of flower, a favourite of bees. Flowering into December some years. Hardy. Sun.

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Allium schoenoprasum 'Pink Bere' (new)

Pink Chives. A seedling of 'Black Isle Blush' with richer pink flowers, the colour of 'Pink Perfection'. Very vigorous. Comparatively large heads of rich pink flowers. Splendidly edible.

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Allium wallichii CLD 1500 (new)

Attractive rich-purple flowers on stems to 40cm high in summer, this is a very fine form of this Sino-Himalayan speices, found in Yunnan. Used as a vegetable in India, Burma and China; all parts are edible. Excellent for semi-shade conditions and therefore well suited to the 'forest gardening' crowd.

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Amicia zygomeris

A most exotic looking large perennial pea from Mexico, with strong growth to about 2.5m. Pinnate foliage has leaflets with indented tips, giving a very distinct effect. Highly conspicuous large pale green, but heavily purple-red stained, stipules on the stems and large deep yellow pea flowers in late summer, makes for a striking specimen! Absolutely bone hardy in my experience, even through Dec' 2010, without a mulch. Sun.

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Amsonia hubrichtii

Heads of pale-blue starry flowers in spring are lovely in themselves, but the show doesn't stop there. Very fine thread like leaves radiate around the multiple stems and make a beautiful feathery foliage display that lasts through summer and turns to a cloud of warm yellow in autumn, lasting into winter. Height 75cm, width 60-75cm.

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Amsonia illustris

The Shining Blue Star is native to the Central USA and makes a bushy, very hardy perennial 60-90cm tall. Masses of small pale blue star like flowers are seen in summer and the narrow foliage turns to superb autumn colours of rich yellow and maroon. Best in an open position in average soil.

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Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia (new)

Bunches of pale steely-blue starry flowers atop each stem in early summer. Makes a good clump to about 80cm tall with stems clad in slim willowy foliage that turns to attractive yellow shades in autumn. Very hardy and easy in sun.

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Anemone leveillei (new)

Similar to A. rivularis but with larger flowers, this hardy spring flowering perennial bears a mass of lilac-backed white flowers with lilac stamen over attractive dissected foliage. Excellent in semi-shade and also sun if not too dry. Height 60cm.

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Anemonopsis macrophylla

A dainty Japanese woodlander; the 2cm, nodding, whitish lavender flowers rise en masse above the foliage in late summer, giving a light, airy appearance to the plant. For humus rich soil in shade, never too dry in summer. Hardy.

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Angelica archangelica subsp. decurrens (new)

A most unusual subspecies of an otherwise well known favourite, found at altitude in Tajikistan, C. Asia. A monocarpic species with very bold fragrant foliage and impressive globular white inflorescences reaching 1.8m high on strong thick stems. For sun or semi-shade in any reasonable soil.

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