Over recent decades we’ve come to appreciate star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, for its white summer flowers and its intoxicating fragrance. Once only grown in sheltered situations, or even in the conservatory, gardeners have now realised that it can be grown much more widely.
But while its two months of white summer flowers are among the most sweetly scented of all garden blooms, for the rest of the year there’s nothing to catch our attention.
Now, from France, comes T. jasminoides Winter Ruby (‘Trared’), a new introduction that adds a whole new season of colour with the addition of rich red winter foliage.
In summer, the leaves are a brighter green and it’s also hardier than other varieties, to -17°C, and retains its foliage better through winter. Flowering is a little earlier – between May and July in full sun, from June to September where it's partly shaded. The growth is also more compact, 2-3m, and so better suited to a large container.
A lucky find in France
Trachelospermum jasminoides Winter Ruby
(‘Trared’) was discovered on a nursery in France, Jean-Paul Davasse of Sapho (who represent French plant breeders) told me about it.
“The main difference between Winter Ruby
and the classical T. jasminoides
is the colour of the leaves: in autumn and when the temperatures decrease in the night , the foliage turns to red, then deep bronze-red.
“This new variety was discovered at Pepinières Travers, a nursery in the Loiret in north-central France, by Arnaud Travers in February 2011. It was one plant in a batch of potted T. jasminoides
. The original plant was propagated in July 2011 and tested for several years before being chosen to release.
“It is probably a sport,” said Jean-Paul, “It’s possible that it may be a seedling but this is much less likely.”
You can order plants of Trachelospermum jasminoides Winter Ruby
(‘Trared’) from RHS Plants
, and from Cowell’s Garden Centre
and from Coolings
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS.