Hypericum ‘Excellent Flair’ started me off on something of a passion for the H. inodorum type hybrids. There are many of them, mostly I believe bred for the cut flower trade but a couple of handfuls of varieties are to be found as hardy plants for sale in plant areas around the UK. Each year there seems to at least one new one, this year the one that has caught my attention is H. ‘Miracle Night’.
Coming on the market as it does in late Summer it has Autumn – Fall – Halloween written right through it. The dark foliage has the coppery and red tones of Autumn, the flowers bright as bonfires glow in morning and evening light, even the petals/bracts of spent flowers carry on the Autumn theme looking like the empty husks of Sweet Chestnuts. After the flowers the ‘berries’ form dark and mysteriously, sticking up in clusters like tiny fairy houses. It’s no surprise given the background of ‘Miracle Night’ that this is a plant for Autumn flower arrangements, flowers, foliage and berries all well worth cutting and bringing indoors.
On my heavy clay these H. inodorum types thrive, they can almost be treated as herbaceous and cut back severely in Spring whereupon the bounce back with dense, fresh foliage and flower Summer until Autumn. So far my plants seem to be clear of mildew – that’s a bonus. I can’t help feeling these versatile shrubs are being under-promoted in the trade, every home should have at least one….maybe ten, like me.