Recent F1 Hybrid Aquilegias

The recent introduction of three different series of F1 Hybrid aquilegias marks a dramatic step forward. These three series are prolific, colourful, large-flowered and altogether dramatic. But they're also confusing.

They're known by different names in North America, where they were raised, and in Britain and to make matters worse some cultivars have been moved from one series to another with the resultant change of name.

The recent trial of aquilegias at the Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Wisley in Surrey highlighted what impressive plants these are, of the eight Awards of Garden Merit given following the trial, all but one came from these series.
There are three main series.

State Series (Swan Series in USA)
The name States Series was used first, in Britain, and the name Swan Series used later in North Ameica.
Tall, usually 50-60cm high in the garden
70-85cm high in the trial
Flowers very large
Flowers mostly 45 degrees above horizontal.
Will not flower reliably from a spring sowing. They need some lower night tempeartues and a move from short days to long days to initiate flowering.

Songbird Series
No argument about the name of this series!
Medium height, usually 35-45cm in the garden
65-80cm high in the Wisley trial
Flowers medium/large
Flowers mostly upward facing
Will not flower reliably from a spring sowing. They need some lower night tempeartues and a move from short days to long days to initiate flowering.

Origami Series (Butterfly Series in Britain)
It seems as if the name Origami Series is valid, Butterfly Series is a later synonym.
Short in height, usually 35-40 cm in the garden
45-60cm high in the Wisley trial
Flowers medium/large
Flowers mostly 45o above horizontal
No vernalisation required so will flower from a spring sowing, they need only a few weeks at 8C or so to initiate flowering.




Thank you to Simon Crawford, Mike Grant. David Hitchcock and Catherine Steinberg for their invaluable help with these webpages and also with the article in the October 2003 issue of The Garden.







Perennialsvegetables

small gardens

sweet peas

plant pictures

annuals
hellebores
sweet peas
All text ┬ęcopyright Graham Rice 1999-2006, All images ┬ęcopyright Graham Rice/gardenphotos.com or judywhite/gardenphotos.com 1999-2006.
All rights reserved.