Tag Archives: Saxon Blush

Tried and True: vireya rhododendrons Jiminy Cricket, Saxon Glow and Saxon Blush

Jiminy Cricket - the hardiest of any vireya we know

Jiminy Cricket - the hardiest of any vireya we know

  • The hardiest of the vireya family.
  • Tidy, compact growth around 75cm high.
  • Widely available.
  • Flower freely over a long period of time.

Siblings, these three cultivars. The breeder, Os Blumhardt, gave us seed of the cross and one plant grew so well we put it into production with his agreement. We called it Jiminy Cricket because the flowers are held upright and as singles, reminding one of the original Jiminy Cricket’s eyes swivelling on stalks. The remaining plants with Os also grew well and in due course another nursery took two and named them Saxon Glow and Saxon Blush. Glow is a little redder, Blush is a little paler pink while Jiminy is more coral orange coloured but they all have similar habits of growth. They are funny dense little plants with stiff, upwardly pointed leaves. And hardiness in colder, wetter conditions where most vireyas would promptly curl up and die – that is their biggest attraction of all. This is not to say that they will take bog, repeated heavy frosts or snow. They are just hardier than any other vireya we know so are a good choice for very marginal conditions. They make a corker little hedge – we have a semi circle planted beneath a mandarin tree and after close to a decade, they are still bushy and only about 60cm high. Vireyas are easy to strike from cutting so patient gardeners may just buy one plant and build up the numbers for a hedge.