Ugni Butterball (YANDALL)
I have been watching with great interest the explosion of the ‘Grow your own’ concept over the past couple of years. There is, of course, nothing new about it but consumers are really taken in by the pleasure of growing something you can eat, It is an achievement after all !!
Being a grower of ornamentals, I have just been an onlooker to this trend, but It got me thinking (as I do) about how we could offer ornamental plants with an edible twist that could be marketed as such.
Ugni molinae is a member of the Myrtle family commonly known as Chilean guava - or strawberry Myrtle, it is a shrub native to Chile. It is well documented that the fruit were a favorite of Queen Victoria. The plant itself although grown as an ornamental for many years is pretty unremarkable .... until that is, Steve Yandall of Rainbows End Nurseries in Cornwall bred a dwarf compact yellow foliage form and called it Butterball !!
This striking new plant is perfect for the market we are looking for. It has a tight, compact habit with a beautiful, golden yellow foliage and a remarkable spicy scent. It turns a light orange in colder months. It’s hardy to -8 and looks fantastic in a container. Flowers are small and white. Berries, which ripen in Autumn and early Winter can be picked and eaten or there are many traditional recipes for jams and deserts from Chile.
This amazing new plant is due to launch in garden centres in Spring 2012. There will also be an offer of liners from ALP members.