I expect that many of you will have seen the publicity that came with the introduction of the first green pansy. Thompson and Morgan kindly arranged for me to have a plant to trial, and here are my findings:
I had hoped to get it in flower in time for the Malvern Show, but as the plant did not arrive until late April this was not possible. However I did get it to flower in time for the Annual Show and the plant was displayed on the secretary's table. Comments were wide and varied, but one thing that was common to all was along the lines of "what a strange shade of yellow". I am afraid that no one saw it instantly as green. I must say that I have studied it carefully throughout its bloom development. When it first starts to open the belting around the yellow centre does appear to be olive, but this fades as the bloom develops. I tried it in the shade, and this indeed did have the effect of maintaining the olive belt. The question remains, 'is this truly a green pansy'? Well as a society we would class it as a viola, simply because it does not have a blotch, but is heavily rayed. Now as to the colour, I suppose that the truest test would be the RHS Colour Chart.
It did grow well in its pot, which was an eight inch clay, filled with a JI2 mix and with a dose of well rotted manure above the crocking at the base. This produced a reasonably short jointed plant which gave a good flush of flowers through June and July. I also noticed that by late August after cutting back the old growth that had flowered, another crop of basal shoots appeared. So from this point of view it can be said to have good garden manners. I think what struck me most was the perfection of the belting, never mind the colour, this solid even band is something that florists have tried for years to produce in the Show Pansy. It might be interesting to take some of its pollen to 'John Rodger' or 'Blackfaulds Gem'.
I hope that I shall be able to get a plant in flower for next year's Malvern Show, then even more people will be able to review and make comment. Thanks again to Thompson and Morgan for the opportunity to trial this interesting new variety.
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