Plant of the Month: Geum Totally Tangerine

Every now and again a plant gets into the groundwater of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and pops up over and over again. Geum Totally Tangerine would be one of them. With its reliable nature and, floriferous bright orange zingy flowers it is totally understandable why.

 

Geum Totally Tangerine develops attractive mounds of deep-green, fuzzy pinnately lobed leaves. It blooms slightly later than many of the geum cultivars, but unlike most, flowering continues through the heat of summer. With the flowers being sterile, it continues to bloom and bloom, producing hundreds of warm, bright-apricot to tangerine-orange single flowers over the course of the growing season.

 

In domestic gardens, Geum Totally Tangerine is a chunky mid-to-back of the border plant where it will grow to about 3ft (90cm), given reasonable soil and a sunny position. It does not need much looking after. As It is a sterile hybrid it doesn’t seed itself around the place and just needs a little deadheading  every now to keep it in check. (Take off the whole flower stem though, don’t just cut the top off as the spent stems die back ungracefully). It doesn’t need staking either, making it a perfect addition to any low maintenance scheme.

 

Geum Totally tangerine is a relatively new addition to the gardening market with Hardys Cottage Garden Plants releasing it on the market in 2010. It is the result of a deliberate crossing of Geum rivale (female parent) and Geum chiloense ‘Mrs. Bradshaw” (male parent) by Timothy Crowther in 1999 at his nursery in West Sussex. It grows well in most soils but does like a bit of moisture during the summer, it will also cope with a bit of shade too – just not too much!

 

This geum is perfect in bold and bright colour schemes, mixing equally well with rudbeckia for late season colour and with anchusa earlier in the year. It is ultra-adaptable. It looks as good with yellows as it does with blues and is fantastic against Sambucus Black Lace  and other purple shrubby plants.  It can also be mixed with white where the effect is surprisingly subtle. One of my all time favourite combinations would be a simple pairing with Salvia Purple Rain  – cant get much better than that.