Since childhood, Chris Bowyer has been interested in plants. During the 1980s his wife’s interest in creating dried flower arrangements led him into building up a collection of Helichrysums. The plants varied in stature, greyness of foliage colour and flower bract colour.
One plant from the pink selection displayed buds in a shade of deep glowing red. This plant also had a tight dense habit with lovely grey-white foliage. In 1994, the plant earned a Certificate of Preliminary Commendation from the Royal Horticultural Society and Bowyer named the new cultivar ‘Ruby Cluster’.
When Helichrysum ‘Ruby Cluster’ received the RHS Award of Merit a year later, he realised that it was worthy of commercial propagation. As Must Have Perennials™ perennials had a high profile in all the local garden centres, he decided to offer the plant to Blooms for their consideration. The cultivar was accepted for trial and evaluation. “Then their production and marketing team took over and, with no effort on my part, Helichrysum ‘Ruby Cluster’ was launched to the world,” says Chris Bowyer.
Following this success, Bowyer brought Helichrysum ‘Pink Sapphire‘, a pink version of ‘Ruby Cluster’, 'Ember Glow' with deep red buds ageing to fiery orange and ‘Amber Cluster‘ to Must Have Perennials™. The red buds of ‘Amber Cluster’open to a paler pink, then change to a fiery orange yellow, and finally fade to yellow flowers.
Helichrysum ‘Amber Cluster’
Helichrysum ‘Ember Glow’
Helichrysum ‘Pink Sapphire’
Helichrysum Ruby Cluster