Flowering this week: Elfin Rose

Very pink but cheerful

Very pink but cheerful

There is no doubt that Elfin Rose is very pink. Bright sugar pink or candy pink, in fact. But on a grey day, she is a cheerful spot of colour in the early winter gloom. Her other stand-out feature is the exceptionally dark forest green foliage which provides a foil to that pinkness and, being a sasanqua, the leaves are quite small.

Sasanquas originate in Japan and are the first to flower every season, opening in autumn. They are often recommended for hedging (though it helps to be white and preferably setsugekka to be up with current fashion) because they take clipping well to make a dense plant and are tolerant of both sun and wind. But white is not a colour to lift the winter gloom in the manner of pink Elfin Rose. We grow Elfin Rose as a feature plant and do a nip and tuck trim once a year to tidy her shape up to what are loose stacks of cloud pruned foliage.

Elfin Rose should be available commercially but if you can’t find it, Sparkling Burgundy has very similar attributes and is a reasonable substitute.