Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2010 a number of new succulents will be available from the usual sources. Among these are some delightful purslanes as well as some wonderful new hardy spurges.
The Portulaca PortoGrandes are bound to become very popular purslanes. This new series includes six striking varieties so far. These are noted for their extra large, single flowers that open throughout the growing season. The well branched, full plants are very vigorous and reliable.
PortoGrande White is pure white with pale green centers. PortoGrande Apricot is my favorite. It has a blushing red center surrounded by salmon
Both PortoGrande Golden Yellow and PortoGrande Yellow have orange centers. There is also a vivid PortoGrande Magenta. PortoGrande Scarlet has pale centers.
These new full sun for best results. The PortoGrandes are excellent choices for container gardens as well as flower beds and borders.
New Perennial Spurges
Several new perennial spurges are being introduced in 2010. Ruby Glow Euphorbia amygdaloides is hardy to zone six. Preferring full sun, this new variety of wood spurge offers delightful color throughout the growing season. The newly emerging leaves are bright red. Over time this deepens to a rich black, mahogany, or bronze depending on the light. The more sun this plant receives, the deeper colored the leaves will be. When autumn arrives, the leaves then become red again. The blooms have very large deep red bracts. This much branched plant is only a foot in height. When it is flowering, it can reach 1½ feet tall. Otherwise, it is quite compact, and about 1½ feet wide. The stems are vivid red.
Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia x martinii is a hardy new spurge. This new hybrid of the wood spurge and the large Mediterranean spurge is hardy to zone five.
This stocky, well rounded perennial reaches about 1½ feet in height. This evergreen is noted for the vivid coloration of the leaves. During the colder parts of the year this becomes tinged with pink. The rest of the time it is a gorgeous mix of pale and medium greens with gold or cream. The stems are red. The large flower bracts are a blend with several shades of green along with gold or white. These open during the spring beginning in March or so.
Ascot Rainbow is recommended for flower beds, perennial borders, and container gardens. It is very suitable for dry climates. This was bred in Australia.