Chrysanthemum Picasso carries masses of small to medium sprays of pom-pom type flowers of peachy-bronze fading to orange/straw on a neat mound 50-60cm in height and spread. Flowering starts in October and carries on to heavy frost. The flowers are weather resistant, looking good after heavy rain and light frosts. The plant is very hardy, surviving to -15°C or colder in the harsh winter of 2010-11.
It prefers a well-drained site to keep the mound tight. If the situation is too damp, the plant is apt to grow taller and laxer and not flower as well. It will grow in full sun where the flower colour is more intense, or in light shade.
Chrysanthemum Picasso was part of a large order of autumn-flowering plants from the nursery Halls of Haddon in 2004 and after 5 years, the only one still alive. It was introduced to the Scheme in 2010 and has proved popular with those who grow it.
It can be propagated easily by splitting the clump or by cuttings in late spring.
It does not seem to be subject to pests or diseases and provides welcome perennial colour at the front of an autumn border so it surprising that it is not more widely available. There is only one nursery listed as supplying this plant in the RHS plant Finder 2014.
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.