Ranunculus asiaticus: Persian Buttercup
I am not sure I have the patience to be a plant breeder, nor the stamina to go hunting for new species in far-flung places, but I am glad other people do. New hybrids and wild-collected rarities fuel the horticultural industry and gardeners’ imagination, a process of natural selection determining which survive in cultivation and which do not. Long years and vast sums of money are spent by professional breeders and plant hunters in pursuit of commercial success and botanical glory. Just occasionally the hybridisers go a little too far in their quest for plants which will capture our imagination, introducing faddy flowers which are too unnatural to be described as attractive. Ultimately the consumer, whether gardener, plant collector or florist, decides if a new cultivar will rise to fame or disappear without trace. The stakes are high.
This week at the Christmas World trade fair in Frankfurt the ‘blumen des tages‘ were a new strain of florists’ ranunculus introduced by Italian breeder Biancheri Creations. Now, I love the classic florists’ ranunculus, with their chiffon petals layered like delicate French pastries, but here is something new. Each of the Pop-Pon range (currently 18 in total), possesses flamenco-ruffled petals in fabulous shades, jauntily flushed with bright green. The blooms’ appearance is akin to a zinnia, marigold, or even a peony in the case of the pink varieties ‘Hermione’ and ‘Minerva’. Although simple pearly white or deep aubergine ranunculus can’t be beaten in my opinion, these are fancy blooms which will be manna from heaven for florists and flower arrangers.
The hot coloured varieties, such as ‘Merlino’ and ‘Trilly’, are particularly dashing. As you move towards the centre of the flower, the coloured petals have something of an identity crisis, assuming the form of leaves. This is especially pronounced in the variety named ‘Igloo’, which combines pure white and vivid apple-green. There are red, orange and purple variations in the range, offering plenty of choice: Pon-Pon ‘Malva’, which has magenta and lime-green flowers, has already won a prestigious ‘Glass Tulip’ award.
Whether these exciting new ranunculus will make it onto the staging of our local garden centres I don’t know, but I do hope they’ll be arriving on your doorstep in a Valentine’s bouquet on February 14th.
Categories: Bulbs, Daily Flower Candy, Flowers, Photography, Plants
15 comments On "Daily Flower Candy: Ranunculus Pon-Pon Series"
I think I need a new adjective to describe how pretty they are and how lovely they would look in a bouquet. In some of my MG classes, they have discussed how certain new plants do not provide nectar for the pollinators. Having seen these in person, do you think they are something mainly for the florist or also for the garden? I’m not trying to put you on the spot, but we have such challenges enticing pollinators I’m just wondering. They certainly are eye candy that’s for sure. 🙂
They are definitely, unashamedly florists’ flowers Judy. I imagine they’d be hard work in the garden and fodder for slugs and snails rather than bees. I am currently reading ‘Pollinator Friendly Gardening’ by Rhonda Fleming Hayes, with a view to writing a review, and feeling rather embarassed by a few of my gardening practices. I believe the author is also a Master Gardener, like you.
I think the beauty of some of today’s flowers just call to our gardening hearts. I will look forward to reading your review and suggestions. 🙂
I hadn’t heard that about nectar and new plants, Judy. Thanks for the heads up.
Very nice photos! I’ve used ranunculus in wedding bouquets and find them a little difficult to work with – but those ruffly flowers are so fun!
Thanks for educating me in so many amazing flowers and plants over the year. These are stunning but I am not quite sure about having them in my garden though! Suky2 On 2 Feb 2016 20:15, “The Frustrated Gardener” wrote:
> The Frustrated Gardener posted: “Ranunculus asiaticus: Persian Buttercup I > am not sure I have the patience to be a plant breeder, nor the stamina to > go hunting for new species in far-flung places, but I am glad other people > do. New hybrids and wild-collected rarities fuel the horticultu” >
Easier to look at than to grow I suspect Sue!!
I am not that patient to grow or breed the ranunculus, but I admit they look nice and interesting especially to florists or enthusiasts 🙂
To offer a different opinion. These don’t appeal to me; they’re almost too unnaturally odd. The Merlino (yellow and green?) remind me of pom poms carried by cheerleaders at Green Bay Packer football games. I bet the Rhonda Fleming Hayes book is good. Happy Reading!
Sorry Dan – don’t like the look for these ranunculus – perhaps i will change my mind when I can see them in the flesh. Love your blogs – keep them coming. Mrs. P.
That’s fine Mrs. P., each to his/her own! I’m a magpie, so like anything bright and shiny. Not as discerning as some might imagine 🙂
I particularly like the white and green one…the others are a bit cheerleader Pom Pom like!! Thanks for sharing your finds with us!
Yes, they are certainly very jolly. Not to everyone’s taste though.
What thoroughly astonishing flowers! I must look out for these. They’re lovely.
Thank you Val. They are rather fun aren’t they?