JARS v63n2 - Best Bloomers: A Vireya Starter List from Hawaii

Best Bloomers: A Vireya Starter List from Hawaii
Sherla Bertelmann
Kea'au, Hawaii

There are many, many great repeat blooming vireyas and choosing the best bloomers can be a difficult task. After some thought, I've come up with a starter list of ten of my favorite all around bloomers. It is only a starter list because there are many other excellent bloomers out there too. Let me know what your favorite bloomers are!

'Arthur's Choice': Large luminous red flowers with lighter yellow centers. Compact growing to one m (three feet or so) with a spreading habit. Blooms most of the year with a rest at year's end, and then begins again. This was one we had in full sun with few problems.

R. 'Arthur's Choice'
'Arthur's Choice'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

'Birat Red': Similar in size and color to 'Arthur's Choice' except all red. Compact growing also to one m or so - bushy, well branching, not as spreading as 'Arthur's Choice' but just as good a bloomer. This, too, grows in full sun for us.

R. 'Birat Red'
'Birat Red'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

'Pink Delight' x 'Simbu Sunset': Medium sized coral-orange flowers with bright yellow centers - an upright, bushy grower. About 1-1.25 m in height after three years in the garden, making it a fairly compact grower. Another one that seems to handle full sun with little problem.

R. 'Pink Delight' x R. 'Simbu Sunset'
'Pink Delight' x 'Simbu Sunset'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

'Shaya': Large all red flowers and dark green leaves on an upright, open growing shrub. It stands about one m after three years in the garden. Gets fuller rather than taller, so far. Light shade works well with this hybrid.

R. 'Shaya'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

R. jasminiflorum hybrid: Pink flowers from an unnamed hybrid of the species R. jasminiflorum . It blooms and blooms on a bushy, full, upright shrub. Flowers are pink with white on the outside. Can get leggy but responds well to pruning. This particular R. jasminiflorum hybrid's flowers are used in leis. Full sun is okay.

R. jasminiflorum hybrid
R. jasminiflorum hybrid
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

'Star Posy': Light-pink, star shaped flowers cover this upright, tight growing, bushy shrub that blooms most of the year. Very adaptable to most conditions, sun or shade. Definitely what could be called a "good doer."

R. 'Star Posy'
'Star Posy'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

Two un-named hybrids that one day should be named. The first is V80 R. aurigeranum x R. zoelleri 'Golden Gate': Most bi-colors like this tend to be tall and leggy growers. V80 is upright and full. It grows in full sun and blooms almost year round.

R. aurigeranum x R. zoelleri
'Golden Gate'
R. aurigeranum x R. zoelleri 'Golden Gate'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

The other is V294 R. zoelleri 'Island Sunset' x R. viriosum . This plant was not happy in a small pot. It refused to bloom, and being a vigorous grower it tended to stress. We released it into the garden and have since not been disappointed by its profuse blooming or its wonderful, bushy, growth habit.

R. zoelleri 'Island Sunset' x R. viriosum
R. zoelleri 'Island Sunset' x R. viriosum
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

'Taylorii': It continues to awe us. It is compact, one m or so, naturally bushy, and blooms frequently. Full sun is okay.

R. 'Taylorii'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

'Saxon Glow': It is a delight. It blooms young, producing buds on every terminal. Growth is compact, is 0.8-1.0 m in height and has tightly growing leaves that creates a dense shrub. Flowers are thrown high above the foliage. It is an excellent garden or container plant.

R. 'Saxon Glow'
'Saxon Glow'
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann

Sherla is past president of the Hawaii Chapter, and owns and operates the Pacific Island Nursery in Kea'au, HI.