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Featured Conservation Plants: July 2014

July 2014:
Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Glencoe’

This plant was introduced to the conservation scheme in 2009 having been established in the Shropshire garden of an HPS member when he and his wife bought the house. They found it to be much hardier and floriferous than Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Crowborough’ and other, more generally available Zantedeschias. Over the years they have been able to compare ‘Glencoe’ with several other Zantedeschia introductions none of which have survived and flourished as prolifically as the featured plant here. It has flowered so profusely that over 250 blooms are sold annually with plenty more left to enjoy in the garden. A more detailed article about ‘Glencoe’ is featured in ‘The Hardy Plant’ journal in spring 2009 for anyone seeking more detailed information but some of the descriptions here are taken from that article.

The leaves of ‘Glencoe’ reach around 110-150cm high with white spathes held 25-35cm above the foliage and flowering from late May through to July. The dimensions of the leaf blades are similar to ‘Crowborough’ but the petioles of ‘Glencoe’ are much longer.

It does not suffer from pests or diseases with the exception of minor slug and snail damage to the leaves as they emerge in the spring and the vigour of the plant soon overcomes this. One of the owners feels that ‘Glencoe’ may be the same clone as one he saw in Co. Waterford as a child and has revisited more recently.

It is clearly a plant that needs space but what a statement when established and definitely one to be conserved and spread around. It needs plenty of moisture in the summer and grows well on clay soils but could also be grown in a large pot as long as it has plenty of watering.

Propagation to ensure that you get the same plant is by division or even small offshoots at the sides of the main plant (although the latter will take longer to establish).

Many thanks to Keith and Lorna Ferguson for permission to take information from their article about ‘Glencoe’ and for the lovely image.

The Conservation scheme involves HPS members in growing these plants and documenting the best way to grow and propagate them. The plants are distributed across the country with many local groups and individual growers being involved.

The scheme is open to all HPS members. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Since the present scheme started in 1998, we have been successful in conserving over 30 plant varieties that are, in our opinion, all worthy of being grown in British gardens. However, there are still a large number of potentially garden worthy plants in need of conservation.

If you are a interested in making this (or any other of our conservation plants) available on a commercial basis, please contact the National Coordinator.

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