HELENIUM VARIETIES UK
NOTE: All the Helenium varieties below are fully hardy throughout the UK. All attracts bees and butterflies and make excellent cut flowers, lasting about a week in a vase. All young Heleniums need protection from slugs and snails.
A relatively compact variety at 80cm / 30in high and 30cm / 12in wide, it will support itself in most situations. First released in 2005 and bred by Nic Geerlings in the Netherlands. The last RHS AGM trials were in 2001 so this variety is too recent for an award.
Choose a full sun site for ‘Chelsey’ to get the best colour from the flowers. When they first appear the main petal colour is crimson with yellow flecks. As the flowers age they take on a more mahogany tinge to them.
The central cone starts off as an even deeper crimson cone which turns to yellow as the flower ages. The thin leaves are an attractive bright green
HELENIUM FLAMMENDES KATHCHEN
Helenium Flammendes Kathchen is not one of the most available Heleniums but we have seen it growing in a couple of places and we were impressed. The English translation of Flammendes Kathchen is Flaming Katy.
It grows to four or five foot tall and seems to withstand a fair amount of wind. The flowers are beautiful, with slightly more vibrant orange and yellow than the average Helenium. Dead head this variety and it will continue to produce flowers for well over two months. Stunning as a cut flower.
HELENIUM MARDI GRAS
Helenium Mardi Gras
At only 75cm / 18in tall Mardi Gras is far shorter than most other Heleniums. Well suited to the middle or front of a flower bed, it also grows well in containers.
Best grown in full sun to heighten the depth of the flower colour. The flowers can sometimes look like they have a petal or two missing, but they are none the less beautiful. Flowers are produced early July to early October.
With perennial plants like Heleniums we always look to buy online from nurseries which grow their own plants rather than buy them in from sources unknown to you. Unfortunately this is not always the case and many of the bought in plants have been raised under over-protective cover making them vulnerable when first planted. For Mardi Gras our recommended supplier is SpecialPerennials.
HELENIUM MOERHEIM BEAUTY
Helenium Moerheim Beauty
A traditional Helenium which was the most popular variety. Awarded a RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 2001. Slightly taller than average at 1.3m / 4ft high, it will require staking in most gardens.
This variety will definitely need a full sun position because the flowers are naturally a light mahogany shade and will become slightly dreary in partial shade. The petals grow downwards, showing off the deep crimson-brown cone which changes to yellow as the flower ages.
Helenium Moerheim Beauty flowers longer than most other varieties, starting to produce flowers in mid July and lasting well into October.
Available from our recommended online nursery, Crocus (click here) with a five year hardy plant guarantee. Crocus grow these plants on their own nurseries, and unlike many garden centres and nurseries, they are grown in the open. The plants are therefore fully hardened off when you receive them.
Rauchtopas is German and means Smoky Topaz in English. Bizarrely, there is no Smoky Topaz gemstone, it does not exist. There is however a Smoky Quartz stone which some dealers try pass off as a quartz gemstone. The colour of Smoky Quartz is also nothing like the flowers of this variety!
This is a strong growing Helenium which, although it grows to about 110cm / 40in high, is normally self-supporting.
The petals are yellow with orange-brown flecks on the upper side with strong orange colouring underneath. The flowers point upwards, showing off the contrasting underside. The cone is dark brown initially, later gradually turning yellow.
It is a plant very suited with other hot coloured plants and does best in full sun. Flowering starts early, late June.
Rubinzwerg is one of the more compact varieties of Helenium with strong stems that resist spreading. They to just under 1m high and remain upright in strong winds.
In common with most heleniums the flower colour changes throughout the season, starting off as as deep red, turning to to a more orange colour. They make excellent cut flowers and have been given a RHS AGM.
HELENIUM SAHINS EARLY FLOWERER
The name of this variety might lead you to believe that this is the earliest Helenium to flower but in our experience that’s not quite true, but it does produce flowers from early July well into autumn.
The flowers are larger than average, 7cm / 3in wide with petals that point downwards. The petal colour is variable, starting off as yellow and red-orange, turning to a more yellow colour. The brown centre cone can be as large as 2.5cm / 1in wide. Lots of flowers are produced throughout the season. No two flowers are the same.
Best suited to a full sun position, it will still produce a good show in partial shade. Sahin’s Early Flowerer also survives better than most on sandy soil, but keep it well watered in warm weather or at the first sign of it wilting.
This is a medium sized Helenium at 1m / 3ftins high and in many situations requires little or no support. The foliage is an attractive dark green. It was given an Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the RHS in 2001.
Sahin’s Early Flowerer is available from our recommended online nursery, Crocus (click here) with a five year hardy plant guarantee. Crocus grow these plants on their own nurseries, and unlike many garden centres and nurseries, they are grown in the open. The plants are therefore fully hardened off when you receive them.
HELENIUM THE BISHOP
Helenium The Bishop
At around 1m / 3ft high Helenium The Bishop requires no support in most garden situations. The mid-green, lance shaped leaves are particularly attractive.
The flowers are a clear yellow with a large central brown cone. Flowering is from Mid July to the end of September. The make an excellent cut flower.
Even in partial shade The Bishop will produce a good display of yellow flowers.
The Bishop is available from our recommended online nursery, Crocus (click here) with a five year hardy plant guarantee. Crocus grow these plants on their own nurseries, and unlike many garden centres and nurseries, they are grown in the open. The plants are therefore fully hardened off when you receive them.
Waltraut was given a RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 2001, however it’s never been one of our favourites. It dates back to 1947.
Flowers are produced in late July / early August and last through to the end of September. Initially they are yellow turning to a mainly burnt orange as the age. The flowers are about 8cm / 3in wide with a brown central cone.
It’s a compact plant, well capable of supporting itself at just under 1m / 3ft high. It definitely needs full sun if the vibrant flower colours are to be maintained. The stubby foliage is an uninteresting shade of green.
The Waltraut is available from our recommended online nursery, Crocus (click here) with a five year hardy plant guarantee. Crocus grow these plants on their own nurseries, and unlike many garden centres and nurseries, they are grown in the open. The plants are therefore fully hardened off when you receive them.
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