Butterfly World trial unusual late-flowering chrysanthemums from Plant Heritage National Collection

Gardeners from Butterfly World, in Hertfordshire, are collecting flowers from the Plant Heritage National Collection of Chrysanthemum (Korean, Rubellum & hardy spray), held by Judy Barker, to trial as a late pollen source for butterflies and bees.

Judy’s late-flowering (October – November) Chrysanthemum are little known and many main retailers do not stock them, but they make an amazing colour blast at the end of the year, as well as providing a late source of nectar for butterflies and bees, potentially extending the life and health of these vitally useful insects.

Judy’s Collection is based across three allotments in London Colney, Hertfordshire. Hardy herbaceous chrysanthemums have been growing in UK gardens in one form or another for well over 100 years, extending the gardens' colour and interest well into November and in sheltered sites even December. Generally plants raised after the 1950-60's were not bred for hardiness, whereas the old border plants, which have survived, do not need to be lifted and dependably provide a feast of colour every autumn.

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