Nursery has exclusive rights to sell Ice Cream Penstemon

Five new varieties refresh top-selling range

By Matthew Appleby Hayloft Plants, based in Worcestershire, has secured the exclusive rights to sell the new Ice Cream Penstemon — from a wholesale breeding programme at Thompson & Morgan (T&M) — in the UK. Hayloft representative Derek Jarman said: “Penstemon is the biggest-selling product we’ve had for the past 15 years, with eight million sales. People who buy from Hayloft expect new and unusual perennials and this fits into that category. It’s ideally suited to Hayloft but possibly not to T&M, which is better known for fuchsias and bedding than perennials.” The collection consists of five new varieties with broad leaves, thick stems and compact growing. ‘Blueberry Fudge’ is lilac with a white throat, ‘Bubblegum’ is bright red with a white throat, ‘Juicy Grape’ is cerise pink with a white throat striped with pink, ‘Melting Candy’ is soft pink with a white throat and ‘Strawberries and Cream’ is pale pinky white with deep red markings in the throat. A further three varieties — ‘Raspberry Ripple’, ‘Sweet Cherry’ and ‘Vanilla Plum’ — will be available later this year, and there are plans for another seven new Ice Cream Penstemon to be released to the market in 2008.

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