HCG Plant of the Year: FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia ‘WWG01’)
Text & Images By David Salman
I’ve been very keen on growing lavender here in the high desert of northern NM for many, many years; they are a perfect match for our impoverished soils and arid western climate. I’ve also spent a lot of effort evaluating and selecting for improved cultivars (varieties). My first two introductions, ‘Munstead Violet’ and dwarf variety ‘Wee One’, have proven to be excellent garden performers.
For spring 2019, I’m introducing my latest cultivar, "FlowerKisser™ After Midnight.It’s a plant selected from a group of seedlings raised from seed of ‘Munstead Violet’ that was crossed with other English lavenders. Darker and more vividly colored than its parent, the stunningly unique violet-purple flowers (botanically known as “corollas”) contrast vividly with the dark ink-blue buds (“calyxes”) making a darkly colored flower spike unmatched by any other Lavender variety. Blooming in late spring/early summer, the flowers are held over compact growing plants with gray-green foliage.
The genus Lavandula has been a source for fragrant, medicinal oils and beautiful ornamental plants for centuries. Native to southern Europe and north Africa, this group of small growing shrubs are the perfect plants for xeric (waterwise) landscapes adapting nicely to nutrient-poor but fast draining soils. FlowerKisser™ After Midnight Lavender has flowers that are nicely fragrant and moderately aromatic foliage.
Here are more plant details:
- At maturity, the plant will reach a size of 24-28” tall (in flower) and about 30-36” wide.
- It is USDA zone 5 cold hardy once established (two growing seasons), grow in zones 5-9.
- Vegetatively propagated by soft-wood cuttings
- Grow it in full sun in a fast draining, not-too-rich sandy to loam soil. (Avoid clay.)
- Deadhead after the initial flush of flowers have faded by mid-summer. In my experience, it isn’t a strong re-bloomer.
- Highly attractive to bees and butterflies that seek out its nectar and pollen.
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