RHS Show Tatton Park (22 to 26 July)

July 22, 2009toJuly 26, 2009

tattonExperience summer in all its glory at Tatton Park. Come along and see the latest innovative creations from up-and-coming garden designers. Fire your imagination with vibrant floral displays and non-stop gardening inspiration. There’s plenty to see and even more to take home with acres of stylish gardening accessories, seasonal plants and a rich crop of ideas to make your garden grow.

It’s a great family day out – and don’t forget – KIDS GO FREE!

World’s ugliest plant
Help us decide on the world’s ugliest plant.

The RHS Show Tatton Park is looking to crown a specimen of unsightly flora with the title of The World’s Ugliest Plant and wants your help to decide which one deserves the accolade.  To make the job easier, we’ve shortlisted our top 10 uglies, covering all types of spikey, squidgy and hairy varieties originating from areas across the globe.  Take a look at the varied crop below and when you’re ready to make your choice click the Start voting now link. The closing date for your vote is 26 June. The winner will be announced on 29 June.

Similarly, if one of these plants is your favourite that you want to champion, let us know when voting.

Bastard cobas (Cyphostemma juttae)
bastardcobasA slow growing plant, that also goes by the names of wild grape, tree grape and Namibian grape.
The plants are found in Namibia, where they have adapted to the very hot and dry weather.
A fully-grown plant can measure up to 2m (6.5ft) tall and the large shiny leaves tend to fall off during the winter months and grape-like bunches appear near the end of summer.

Birthworts (Aristolochia gigantea)
birthwortAlso referred to as pipe vines, they are extremely widespread and appear in various different climates.
The basis of the plant is an intertwining stem with simple leaves.
The flowers grow on the leaf axils and have a strong scent attracting insects.

Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum)
corpseflowerThis plant only blooms every four to six years within its 40-year life expectancy.
The flower is described as the world’s largest; reaching heights of 1.5m (5ft) and 1.2m (4ft) wide.
For eight hours of the three-day bloom, the flower emits a smell that is described as rotting flesh, attracting the carrion-eating beetle, for pollination.
Strangely enough the plant is also known as an aphrodisiac.

Elephant’s trunk (Pachypodium namaquanum)
elephantstrunkFound in the North Cape of Namibia, the plant consists of a thick trunk, densely covered in sharp spines.
There is a crown at the top of the trunk appearing during the growing months of winter, and velvet textured flowers appear from August to October, resulting in twin seed pods.
These split down the side, leaving the seeds to be dispersed by the wind. Also known as halfmens.

Monkey cups (Nepenthes)
monkeycupsAlso commonly known as tropical pitcher plants, this carnivorous plant comes from a family of more than 120 different species.
They are vine-forming plants, originating from South China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The plant grows as a climbing vine, with long lance-shaped leaves and an elongated cup-like flower.

Sea onion (Bowiea volubilis)
seaonionAlso known as the climbing onion, the origins of this plant are in South Africa.
The bulb is of a pale green colour, with half growing under the ground.
New branches appear each year, making it look like an elongated asparagus, and greenish flowers are produced, with seeds closely following.

Stinky squid (Pseudocolus fusiformis)
stinkysquidNot strictly a plant, but a fungus worthy of a place in the vote.
This was first reported in Pittsburgh, North America, in 1915. Often found at the edge of woods, in parks and gardens, usually in the summer and autumn time.
The body first resembles a puffball, but it later splits open to form a stalk with arms that taper to a common spot.

Thorn of the cross (Colletia paradoxa)
thornofthecrossAlso known as gigs, curumamil, cross or crown of the cross.
Originated from South America, it is a slow growing shrub that blooms from March to April with greyish flowers.
Often used as an ornamental plant for its fragrance. Currently under threat of extinction, due to a loss of habitat because of exotic weeds.

Tree tumbo (Welwitschia mirabilis)
treetumboThe plant is considered a living fossil, found in South West Africa, specifically Namibia and Angola.
Originally, the plant grows two leaves from one thick trunk and as the plant continues to grow, the leaves may split into numerous straps, making it difficult to identify its origin.
Identifying its age is difficult, but they are extremely long-lived, with some estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

Vegetable sheep (Raoulia eximia)
vegetablesheepReferred to as such because of the way it looks from a distance, this plant is found in the southern Alps and New Zealand.
This shrub forms into grey-white mounds and can spread up to 1.5m (5ft) wide.
The tiny leaves are covered in hairs, with flower heads that are buried beneath them.

Where do I go?
Tatton Gardens, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford, Cheshire

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www.rhs.org.uk

Times:
Wednesday–Saturday
10am–6.30pm

Sunday
10am–5pm