Since childhood, Chris Bowyer has had a love of 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 color and flower bract color.
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 realized that it was worthy of commercial production.
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 as pink, then change to a fiery orange yellow, and finally fade to yellow flowers.