Mulberry leads edible plant march to win RHS Chelsea Flower Show plant of the year 2017

A mulberry displayed at Chelsea on the HTA industry stand and on Jon Wheatley's Chris Evans Radio 2 garden has won plant of the year 2017 beating a clematis, hibiscus and salvia to take top spot.

Suttons' David Robinson said the company had sold out of the dwarf mulberry Morus rotundiloba 'Charlotte Russe' plant, which was one of five edibles shortlisted in the 20 new plants that were presented to RHS plant committee members for consideration.

He said fruit sales were 50% up this year thanks to grow your own popularity.  With royal palaces having national mulberry collections and the plant having Princess Charlotte's name, there were many good stories behind the Morus.

Another 7,500 will be available in September, but half are already sold. There will be more in March 2018. Some 2,500 sold out in the first batch this spring. The compact plant only grows to 1.5m.

Other edibles shortlisted were Tom Smith Plants' chilli pepper 'Dragon's Breath', Hillier's Malus x purpurea 'Crimson Cascade', T&M's Strawberry 'Just Add Cream' and Pennard Plants' sweet pepper 'Popti'.

The Morus was sourced from Japan where its 89-year-old breeder Hajme Matsunaga San has been crossing plants to make a hardy dwarf mulberry with edible berries for small gardens for four decades. The plant is exclusive to Suttons for a year through breeder agent Plantipp, who introduced the plant to Suttons.

Other themes were compactness of plants, while industry stands showcased five plants, with two on Scotts Miracle-Gro's exhibit and three on the HTA/industry Sunbury Road stand.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles