Hunting for New Plants in the Netherlands

I just got back from a week in the Netherlands and now that I've recovered from jet lag, I thought I would share a few new discoveries.

What do you think? Commet on your favorites.

Skimma japonica 'Magic Merlot'

Pieris japonica 'Passion'

Cornus x 'Venus'

Lavendula 'Garden Beauty'

Sedum 'Elsie'


  1. Where are these plants available? Also, are they patented or trademarked? I searched these varieties and can not find the particular ones you have listed.

    I love the sedum, they are coming out with so many new and exciting ones.

  2. Love the Skimma japonica 'Magic Merlot'.

    I just bought a lavendar that looks just like your variegated one at my local nursery. I haven't seen it bloom yet, but it's very attractive just for the foliage.

  3. Of course you will not find information on these varieties yet, they are too new. That's why I thought they would be fun to share with you.

    I suspect that most will be patented because the breeders want to be rewarded for their effots.

  4. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Dear Plant Hunter,

    I’m intrigued by the size of the Cornus x ‘Venus’ blossoms, but are they hardy to zone 3?

    The variegated lavender is exciting too.


  5. Accoring to the breeder Elwin Orton:

    Cornus x ‘KN30-8’
    U.S. Plant Patent No.PP 16,309

    Cornus x ‘KN-30-8’ Venus® is an advanced generation interspecific hybrid involving germplasm of Cornus kousa and C. nuttallii. Plants of this hybrid are distinguished by their exceptionally large, white floral bracts, superior winter hardiness, good tolerance of drought conditions, and high resistance to the incitants of Powdery Mildew and Dogwood Anthracnose.

    Venus grows very vigorously as a dense tree branched low to ground with upright branches which form a rounded head wider than tall. Heights of 5.48 meters and a spread of 6.55 meters have been reached in 20 years.

    The original seedling (age 20 years) has been field tested for 18 years and has been completely winter-hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Map Zone 6a.

    Hybridized by Dr. Elwin Orton in the Woody Ornamentals Breeding Program at Rutgers' Cook College and and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, the Venus® dogwood is one of the end products of a schedule of interspecific hybridization of plants of Cornus kousa x C. nuttallii initiated in May, 1973. Cornus nuttallii is native to limited areas of the Pacific Northwest and Western United States.

    With some plants reaching a height of 70 to 75 feet in areas of the Columbia River Gorge, C. nuttallii is the giant of the large bracted dogwoods. Due to the absence of any report that plants of C. kousa and C. nuttallii were cross fertile, the challenge was to produce interspecific hybrids that possess the desirable traits of both species and would grow well over a wide range of soil and climatic conditions.
    Many different plants of C. kousa were hybridized with plants of C. nuttalli in 1973. A limited number of seeds were produced and they germinated in the spring of 1974. Most of the seedlings flowered after seven to nine years, and in 1983, a superior F1 seedling selection was hybridized with a plant of C. kousa Rosea’. Subsequently, the “best” among the progeny from this cross was propagated and plants distributed to cooperators in New Jersey, Tennessee and Oregon for intensive evaluation.
    A plant patent is pending under the cultivar name ‘KN30-8’ and the plants will be marketed under the trademark Venus®.

  6. Anonymous12:18 PM


    Thanks for sharing your pic's of the new found plants.
    I think Skimma Japonica Magic Merlot is a healthy looking plant. I do not know if its adaptable to my Arizona heat, but when sufficient shade is available, I will try a couple of plants.

    Richard - Golden Valley, Az

  7. Anonymous3:35 PM

    I would love to know more about sedum 'Elsie.' My dear sister-in-law is named Elsie, and I'd like to buy it for her. What zone is it? Where can I purchase a couple of them?

  8. I like all three of the variegated plants, especially the Lavender. I'll be watching for that to come on the market.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  9. Anonymous5:42 AM

    These are wonderful, Tim.

    I think in our zone 7 the 'Magic Merlot', and 'Passion' Japonica would big hits.

    The sedum 'Elsie' looks like one of our Oklahoma native flowers, Snow on the Mountain.
    It doesn't look like a sedum at all.

    Martha in Muskogee
    garden column and blog at
    pen name Molly Day

  10. Thank you for sharing all of these new plants! The flowers on 'Venus' are amazing, but if that variegated lavender proves more vigorous than some of the other varieties with yellow-edged leaves it would get my vote. I can grow any other lavender with no problem, but the golden ones might as well be considered annuals in my garden, even if they're listed hardy to a zone colder.

  11. can you tell us about the flower of the Lavendula 'Garden Beauty'?

  12. Anonymous9:05 AM

    They all look like they would be great additions to any garden – and even in pots?

    Skimma japonica 'Magic Merlot'

    This was my choice for one that I would want.

    Aren’t the flower auctions amazing in Holland – did you go to Aalsmeer? We have friends that live there so have been many times – just not during high seasons simply because of the cost of airfare!


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