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Hypericum x inodorum 'Elstead' - August 22nd 

Hypericum Elstead is one of the better Hypericums for berries. The berries start to colour pink in mid-august and last well into the autumn.

A medium height deciduous shrub - but sometimes semi-evergreen - with yellow flowers in summer, Hypericum Elstead responds well to hard pruning in early spring. If it is not pruned regularly in this way, then it tends to grow into a bit of an untidy shrub - little of interest at the bottom and all at the top. This would then suit it as a back of border position.

Hypericum Elstead is quite happy in more or less any soil. Perhaps not as popular as it should be for it is usually neglected.

Pruned to ground level each year will ensure a bushy compact shrub - full of flowers in summer and ensuing berries in late summer early autumn.

Hypericum x inodorum Elstead - showing the berries.It has the dual attraction in that often, it will have flowers and fruit at the same time. The flowers are showy, in that there are many of them. Small, and almost like stars with their mass of anthers above the stellar petals.

The autumn foliage colour can also be attractive on the deciduous Hypericum range of shrubs. It is not generally realised that this shrub has aromatic foliage when crushed or brushed against!

The flowers are yellow 'buttercups' borne freely at the tips of the branches. A rich golden yellow.

The shrub can suffer a little from assorted leaf spots and/or mildew. In my experience, this is generally as a result of the lack of attention that this - and other Hypericums - are often subjected to. Treatment on a preventive basis with a general fungicide will deter the leaf spots - but so will good plant husbandry!

Hypericum x inodorum Elstead will last for many years. Mulching in the late autumn or early spring will help keep it in healthy mode.

Hypericum inodorum Elstead will normally occupy a space of 3ft (90cm), but if grown well, will extend to around 4ft (1.2m) Height rarely exceeds 3ft.

Propagation of Hypericum Elstead. Easily rooted with either semi ripe cuttings or ripe cuttings in cold frame or other sheltered place. It can also be grown from seed - after firstly removing the fleshy outer. Autumn sowing in cold frame or cold greenhouse is best.

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