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Mulberry Charlotte Russe Chelsea Plant of the Year

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Compact dwarf mulberry tree Morus rotundiloba CHARLOTTE RUSSE (‘Matsunaga’), has been awarded the coveted title of RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2017 at this year’s show (23-27 May).

Exhibited by the Horticultural Trades Association, this dwarf mulberry was chosen as the winner of the competition, fighting 35 other entries to the crown. Also featuring in the Chris Evans Taste Garden, this compact mulberry tree bred by Hajime Matsunaga is perfect for small gardens and patios as it reaches a height of just 1.5m, and produces an abundance of flavoursome berries.

In second place came Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants’ Salvia ‘Crystal Blue’, a hardy perennial selected for its appealing light sky-blue flowers, while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis HIBISQS PETIT ORANGE (‘Petit Orange’) (HibisQs Petit Series) entered by Scotts Miracle-Gro took third place with its eye-catching foliage and small conspicuous orange flowers.

Showcasing some of the newest and most inspiring plants available at the world-famous show, RHS Garden Curators and horticulture experts were among the committee to whittle down the entries to a shortlist of 20, which also included:

  • chilli pepper ‘Dragon’s Breath’, Tom Smith Plants

The chilli has a heat rating of 2.48 Million SHU (Scoville Heat Units) which breaks the current record by some margin. Registered with the Guinness World Records, the plant will last for many years giving an abundance of fruit every year and has a number of medical uses. 

  • Rosa JAMES L. AUSTIN (‘Auspike’), David Austin Roses Ltd

Named for the son of David Austin Senior and brother of David Austin Junior, the JAMES L. AUSTIN (‘Auspike’) is an English Old Rose Hybrid. Not only an exceptionally healthy and reliable rose, it is also a great beauty, with blooms of deep cerise pink, and numerous petals forming perfect large rosettes, each with a central button eye. 

  • Clematis ‘Taiga’, Thorncroft Clematis

‘Taiga’ is a stunning, exotic-looking Clematis and an ideal feature plant in a patio container or against a south-facing wall. The plant can reach a width of 1 metre and height of 2.5 metres and should be grown in a sunny position. It grows with large outer tepals, before the final stage when the centre opens out to create a luxuriant full double flower.

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