Recently I’ve been working on an article about the new hybrid echinaceas for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Plantsman magazine. These are the orange and yellow hybrids like ‘Orange Meadowbrite’ and ‘Harvest Moon’ as well as others not even released yet. I grew all the plants, and talked to all the breeders.
One of the breeders I talked to was Charles Valin at Thompson & Morgan - you can see a slide show his plants here but let me emphasise that they're not yet available to gardeners or growers – this is an exclusive sneak preview. T&M is the only British seed company with, like myself, a presence on both sides of the Atlantic – alongside their extensive British operation they also have a permanent staff in the US and a special US version of their catalog and website.
For many years T&M have been breeding new annuals and perennials for their seed catalog - I’ve visited their breeding station many times. They’ve met with increasing success and their plants have won many awards. In recent years they’ve also been working on new plants intended to be raised from cuttings or in the laboratory by tissue culture as well as from seed – and one of their current projects is echinaceas.
They’re creating some impressive plants, as you can see from the slide show here. Some have reached the stage of being assessed for possible introduction on both sides of the Atlantic so I hope for news next year of when the first will be introduced.
So check out the slide show here and as soon as my article in The Plantsman is published, I’ll be sure to let you know.