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New Varieties 2004


  • Until recently, Dracocephalums have received little fanfare. Outside of a small circle of serious plant collectors, they have been little known. Jelitto has long offered lovely species like D. ruyschiana and rupestre but three years ago, the popular introduction of Dracopcephalum argunense 'Fuji Blue and 'Fuji White,' brought new interest to a previously obscure but very adorable genus.

    'Blue Dragon' is an exciting new Jelitto seed strain of a Russian species collected in the Altai Mountains. Dozens of large violet-blue hooded blossoms (Yes, they do look like little dragons!) surround the short stems from June - September and are splendid with the diminutive blue-green leaves. The foliage is a colorful accent all season long and forms dense clumps. It has impressed us on our trial field with its prolonged flowering time. The undemanding, compact-growing (30 cm/12") 'Blue Dragon' is very durable, is perfectly suited for container production and would be an excellent candidate for the front of the border, the rock garden or in mixed containers.


  • Many years ago, German, Eugen Schleipfer, found a single plant that looked very different than others. He had never seen a two-tier Purple Coneflower before. Schleipfer saw potential here, where others might have seen nothing but an oddity. For over two decades, he selected, and re-selected, the best of the double-decker plants. Schleipfer eventually produced a reliable seed strain with a set of shorter petals that looked like birds frolicking in a birdbath emerging from the top of the cone. A skirt of slightly longer deep rose-pink petals emerged from the base of the cone.

    Indeed, the flowers of Echinacea purpurea 'Doubledecker' are very unusual - even Dr. Seuss would be proud! During the first growing season ordinary single (12 cm/5") flowers sometimes occur. By year two, a very high percentage of reliable "twins" are produced from July - September on sturdy (100 cm/40") stems. Some of the flowers may even be, on rare occasion - fully double.

    Other names exist for similar seed strains, but 'Doubledecker', 'Indiaca' and 'Indianer' resulted directly from Eugen Schleipfer's work. Plant aficionados and novice gardeners alike will do a double take, and then do double-time to the local nursery for the delightful 'Doubledecker'!

  • Dale Hendricks, von North Creek Nurseries, ist stets auf der Suche nach besonderen Auslesen. Vor einigen Jahren sind Ihm Pflanzen mit fast purpurrotem Laub im Austrieb und ausgesprochen dunklen, 120 cm hohen Stielen aufgefallen. Die Überraschung war groß als von Juni bis September die goldgelben Blüten eine auffallend orangerote Mitte zur Schau stellten. Was für eine wunderbare, noch nie vorher gesehene Kombination!

    'Summer Nights' lässt sich leicht aus Samen vermehren und blüht bereits im ersten Jahr. Eine kleine Zahl an grünlaubigen Formen können aufkommen, sind aber leicht im Sämlingsstadium aussortierbar. Es wird Zeit das Heliopsis in den Vordergrund der Staudenrabatten und Schnittblumen gelangt und ihren Platz bei den erstklassigen Präriestauden findet. 'Summer Nights'(Sommernächte) waren noch nie so schön!


  • The European species, Lychnis flos-cuculi, needs little introduction. Native to moist meadows, the showy pink flowers and tufted clumps of shiny, grey-green foliage are easily recognized.

    Years of careful Jelitto breeding have transformed the pink-flowering Ragged Robin, a very humble species, into the pure 'White Robin'. Jelitto's exclusive introduction is a perfectly stable seed strain. The saying: "Birds of a feather, flock together" certainly applies to this lovely spring-bloomer. 'White Robin' produces dozens of fluttering, snow-covered birds. The (2 cm/1") flowers on sturdy (40 cm/15") reddish stems appear in May and June.

    Since it is so easy to cultivate from seed, growers will soon be flocking to try this new Jelitto introduction. 'White Robin' is a great seed selection for container production, for planting in the front of the border, or as an edging plant.


  • In the last few years, the sun-loving Ozark Sundrops, Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. incana, with its wide grey leaves has been recognized as a long-lived perennial for the front of the border or the rock garden. The subspecies fremontii with its more narrow foliage is not as well known but surely is a worthwhile garden plant for well-drained soils. It is extremely drought tolerant, long flowering and cold hardy.

    The ground-hugging (15 cm/6") 'Silver Wings' is a new, distinctive seed strain. A conscientious Jelitto breeding effort helped produce slender, wavy, lance-shaped, grey-green leaves. The foliage is a garden designer's dream. In or out of flower, there is no limit to combinations with any other leaf color or texture. The large, papery, golden cup-shaped (10 cm/4") saucers flowering from June until October seem a great extravagance to the subtle foliage. 'Silver Wings' will, like all Oenothera macrocarpa (missouriensis), flower the first year grown from seed.

    After a long day, enjoy these large blossoms as they begin to open in the late afternoon and early evening, just when you're ready to enjoy the garden. It will be still in flower when you leave for work in the morning while other flowers are still asleep.


  • Soft-pink pincushion-like flowers can now be reliably produced from Jelitto seed. Previously, expensive vegetative propagation was necessary to produce comparable results. Given a sufficiently early start, flowering plants can be produced the first year and will produce full containers. Few species can match the heavy bloom production and nearly non-stop, flowering of 'Pincushion Pink'. Hundreds of dancing (5 cm/2") flowers sit atop sturdy stems from May-September.

    Compact, leafy rosettes form decorative, low-growing maintenance-free (25 cm/10") mounds. Plant drifts (big or small!) in the front of the border, the rock garden or in mixed plantings with Dracocephalum 'Blue Dragon', Dianthus amurensis and Oenothera 'Silver Wings'. 'Pincushion Pink' is also a great nectar source for butterflies.


  • Jelitto offers over 20 different kinds of Sedums and we have a great interest in the ornamental and practical uses of this popular genus. When it comes to perennials, we knew we'd struck gold ('Czar's Gold'!) when we produced this cultivar. Years earlier, on a plant hunting expedition in the Altai Mountains, we found this intriguing Russian species and imagined the possibilities of combining the finest qualities.

    'Czar's Gold' produces ground-covering (15 cm/6") carpets of spoon-shaped, glossy, evergreen leaves and reddish stems, covered with clusters of hundreds of starry golden flowers from May-June, and bountiful re-bloom in August and September.

    Growers love Sedums because they are easy and inexpensive to produce. Gardeners use them for rock gardens, the front of the border, in mixed container planters, groundcover and on roof gardens. Their drought resistance and care-free habit are renowned. The Russian Czars had a fondness for gold and you will too, for 'Czar's Gold'.


  • Verbascums are well known for their impressive leafy rosettes. 'Sixteen Candles' has handsome, richly branched, candelabras from June - August, consisting of hundreds of bright yellow flowers, each one accentuated by violet-colored filaments in the blossom's interior. This easy-to-grow architectural plant (100 cm/40") is well suited for the border and for cottage gardens in combination with ornamental grasses.

    In fact, re-bloom can be expected if the spent blossoms are removed and it does not self-seed like its biennial relatives. Jelitto is excited about the reliability of this new seed introduction. Verbascum (Mullein) was known during the Middle Ages as the Candlewick Plant. The hairy stems of Verbascum could be dipped in oil and used as a torch. In a pinch, 'Sixteen Candles, will do the trick but we hate to see this improved long-lived perennial Verbascum go up in smoke!


  • This past year, nothing in Veronicas has excited so many people as the sun-loving 'Blue Feathers'. Growers who have seen this new Jelitto seed strain on our trial grounds have commented very favorably about the soft-blue flowers. What captures their interest is the lovely combination of the showy blossoms with the magnificent, finely cut, filigreed leaves.

    There is no other Veronica with such interesting foliage. Jelitto has been gratified by the response to the cold-hardy and easy-to-germinate, 'Blue Feathers' is a great addition to our comprehensive list of species and seed strains of this popular perennial. The small soft-blue, saucer- shaped blossoms surround the long-flowering racemes from May - August.

    'Blue Feathers' is a non-running 30 cm/12" selection for well-drained soils and forms very neat, full clumps by the second season. This would make an interesting, and graceful, cut flower. Re-blooming is possible if the stems are removed. Why not tickle somebody's fancy with a graceful bouquet of 'Blue Feathers'?

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