"Unlike the ordinary hydrangea, this new hydrangea has flowers all along the stem", says Didier Boos of HW². The variety in question is French Bolero and even though it was not in flower at the IPM Essen last January, it attracted a lot of interest of the visitors. "The reactions were excellent. Many European nurseries showed interest, as well as people from overseas."
Lionel Chauvin of Chauvin Hortensia, Didier Boos of HW and Karl Storf of Chauvin presenting the French Bolero at the IPM Essen 2019.
Flowers all along the stem
The French Bolero is a cross hybrid of Hydrangea macrophylla and H. scandens, a compact garden hydrangea 0.80/1m X 1m. Didier: “Unlike the ordinary Hydrangea macrophylla all buds, even lateral ones, flower all along the stems, and not only at the shoot's end. The plant is long lasting until the end of the late summer when it turns to a beautiful Indian pink. In the garden French Bolero makes a nice compact spreading winter-hardy bush of inflorescences. It can also be kept in a pot container. For an optimal result the plant should be placed in a semi-shaded area. Without pruning French Bolero will produce even more flowers.”
Breeding a new hybrid plant
The breeding has been done by teachers-researchers from Agrocampus-Ouest, in Angers, France and the plant has been tested and produced by the members of the group HW², like Boos Hortensia, Chauvin Hortensia, Hortensia France Production, Malinge Horticulture and Sicamus Production. Didier: “The teachers-researchers from Agrocampus-Ouest in Angers, France, have been looking for a way to cross different hydrangea species. The goal, of course, was to get a new hybrid plant with both parents' qualities. So they found French Bolero, observe it during 3 years before they proposed to our group HW² the opportunity to grow and sale it.”
Available in 2020
This season it is all about testing. Some finished products will be grown in different countries across Europe as tests. More plants will be available in 2020. Didier has high expectations of French Bolero. “It is a really new plant which is easy to grow, sell and send. The compactness is perfect for small gardens, terraces and homes, and it is a nice plant for the florists too. We will offer two colors, the pink one is already available and the blue one will be available in 2020.”
The French Bolero planted in exposition south west to west in the Angers area - shadow in the morning.
When grown in greenhouses French will flower quickly, and doesn't need any stick. It also does not require a cold storage period. However the plants can be stored in a climate cell to spread the flowering period. For early flowering in winter, under glasshouse. For example, after one month in cold storage, it takes 6 weeks to colour at 17°C without lighting. For later flowering, from spring until the end of the summer under glass, shade screen or directly outside.