The RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year competition started at the world famous flower show in 2010 and this year, 2016, 20 plant finalists were on show at Chelsea. A distinguished panel of professional horticulturalists and plants people drawn from RHS committees judged the finalists.
The 2016 winner is Clematis chiisanensis AMBER (‘Wit141205’) from Taylors Clematis. A clematis with nodding heads of a yellow/cream colouring and flowering from early to mid-summer with a second flush in September. (see lead photo)
In Second place was Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ displayed by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. Bred by Elizabeth MacGregor in 2012 from parentage of G. ‘Beech House Apricot’ × G. chiloense ‘Red Dragon’.
Third place Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY (‘Kercalsun’) (PowerDaisy Series) on display in Sun Flower Square. Bright yellow flowers on a spreading plant which is easy to grow in containers and borders.
Others on the shortlist were
Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ (Rossano Series) exhibited by the National Chrysanthemum Society. An unusual cut flower chrysanthemum with pink-green coloured blooms.
Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES (Garvinea Sweet Series). For containers and borders, this gerbera has semi-double flowers of soft pink blooming from spring to the first frost.
Iris ‘Terre à Silex’ from Cayeux Iris. With contrasting blooms, this cultivar was bred in France.
Lilium ‘Perfect Joy’ displayed on Sun Flower Square. This bi-colour Asiatic lily with pink and white blooms is the result of 15 years work by Hampshire nurseryman Stuart Paton.
Nepeta × faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ can be found on the stand of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. Soft pink flowering catmint with a low, neat habit.
Petunia NIGHTSKY (‘Kleph15313’) dislayed on Sun Flower Square. Striking dark blue flowers with white fleck for summer bedding arrangements and hanging baskets.
Phalaenopsis ‘Sunny Smell’ exhibited by Double H Nurseries. Said to be the UK’s first widely available scented Phalaenopsis orchid hybrid.
Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ displayed by Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries. This white flowered selection of Primula vialii was found as a seedling. In bud the flowers have a green tinge.
Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Orakel’ on the stand of Millais Nurseries. Striking dark purple flowers with a distinctive blackberry blotch from late May to early June.
Rhododendron ‘Huisman’s Sun Star’ displayed by Millais Nurseries. Deciduous azalea with double fragrant flowers of a salmon-pink colour. Flowering in May is also displayed colourful autumn foliage.
Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’ exhibited by Millais Nurseries. Double cream flowers with a prominent red spotting. Upright habit reaching 1.5m in 10 years.
Rosa ROALD DAHL (‘Ausowlish’) bred and displayed by David Austin Roses. The ROALD DAHL, with pale yellow blooms, was created eight years ago being one of 96,000 seedlings.
Rosa SANDRINGHAM (‘Beamolly’) bred and displayed by Peter Beales Roses. Fully double, deep pink blooms are heavily scented. A specimen plant, it could be grown as a climber with adequate support.
Solanum tuberosum + Solanum melongena EGG AND CHIPS PLANT displayed by Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. A single plant this is an aubergine grafted onto a potato producing two crops at once.
Solenostemon scutellarioides CAMPFIRE (‘Uf12823’) displayed on Sun Flower Square. Coleus CAMPFIRE has brilliant orange/red foliage colour bringing a new dimension to bedding and container arrangements.
Streptocarpus ‘Amy’ bred and displayed by Dibleys Nurseries. A houseplant with masses of deep-purple veined flowers.
Zantedeschia ‘Nashville’ displayed by Brighter Blooms. Perfect patio plant needing free drainage and a sunny sheltered position.