The story behind the plant

Rehmannia Walberton’s Magic Dragon is the product of breeding work by experienced plantsman and breeder, David Tristram, of Walberton Nursery in West Sussex.

David has been breeding plants for many years and has given our gardens some excellent and innovative new varieties, including Scabiosa Butterfly Blue, Helleborus Walberton’s Rosemary and Spiraea Magic Carpet.

David says: “I crossed my selected plants of Rehmannia elata with Rehmannia glutinosa in 2006 and produced seedlings which showed varying degrees of sterility.  So I then made crosses between the better looking hybrids for the next couple of years, continually selecting for appearance and reduced fertility. In 2011, I selected a few of the best and left them outside over the winter to see what sort of plant they produced in the spring and whether or not it was fertile.  From these, I selected Magic Dragon as being sterile and a very attractive plant which went on flowering all through the summer.”

All plants bred by David are subjected to rigorous trials before being released to the public. They have to show that they make an attractive plant that has good garden qualities—ease of cultivation, a long season of flower and hardiness. Magic Dragon passed all those tests with flying colours.

David Tristram at work in his glasshouse
David Tristram at work in his glasshouse

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