Scent is the driving theme of the promotional video above released in early July. From Israeli breeders and propagators Hishtil, it puts the spotlight on four varieties new to their current offer, and on a further four that are to be released for next year.
The common names of most of the plants tell their scented tale – lavender, lemon verbena, rosemary, mint and thyme. For two of them, though, part of the novelty element is surprise. For next year, the rosemary variety ‘Green Ginger’ has ginger-scented leaves, while ‘Black Currant’, a new mint variety, has the characteristic aroma for which it is named.
Other introductions run true to form scent-wise. One is British-bred, the lavender ‘BeeZee Dark Blue’, a new colour for its recently introduced and already very successful series. The breeder is David Kerley, celebrated for the scented double trailing petunia ‘Priscilla’.
There are two new varieties of Lippia citriodora, lemon-scented verbena. Both have pale golden-green foliage. ‘Golden Wind’ is one, while ‘Goliath’ is an addition to Hishtil’s extensive range of organic herbs.
The 2022 introduction Santolina viridis ‘Lemon Fizz’ is claimed to have the scent, not of lemon, but of olive tapenade, a savoury paste popular in southern France. ‘Lemon Fizz’ has the typical fine foliage which is the main selling point of this species, with many small yellow inflorescences in summer.
The thyme variety ‘Pink Magic’ brings no surprises in its scent, but has larger flowers than average and a cascading habit. ‘A gorgeous plant’ comments video presenter and company representative Rudiger Walz.
One introduction, new to the catalogue this year, is a variety of a plant unfamiliar in the UK. This is the star balsam variety ‘Orange Eye’. A low-growing native of South Africa, its strongly scented flowers, up to 2.5cm across, are produced very freely in sunny conditions. The botanical name is Zaluzianskya ovata.