Tuesday, January 29th, 2008...7:14 pm

Is There A Plant To Honor A Boy Named George?


                             (Aster Amellus) 

TheGardenLady received this question from Helen:

I have a friend who has recently lost a little boy named George, and I was wondering if there is any flower or plant that represents this name.

I think your question is a beautiful one – to honor a little boy named George.

When plant breeders create a new cultivar, they often name it after someone.   See here or here.   Sometimes the name they give is for a person who is from royalty or someone famous; many roses are named after actors.

TheGardenLady presents a short list of plant cultivars with the name George in it.

In 2007, at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, a new rose cultivar was introduced.  Rosa ‘George Best’ was named after the late, great Northern Ireland footballer (soccer player) George Best. This rose can be planted in a border or in a container and is easy for a beginner to raise in full sun. You should be able to order this rose in England.  See here.  Each ‘George Best’ rose sold gives a percentage to benefit the foundation set up in his name. Because this rose is so new, TheGardenLady does not know where to buy Rosa ‘George Rose’ in the states. A reader wanting the same rose could contact good nurseries that sell roses- like Matterhorn Nursery in NY, and if they don’t sell this rose, they might be able to tell you who sells it.

Another shrub that has George in its name is Syringa julianae “George Eastman” a hardy dwarf lilac that is deer resistent and grows from zone 2 to zone 7.  The flower buds are wine red and the flowers open a deep cerise-pink. This lilac is advertised for sale in numerous US nurseries like this one.  TheGardenLady does not know where to find this lilac in the UK but could contact one of this site’s sponsors.  The people at this site might also be able to come up with other  suggestions of plants with George in the name.

A third plant suggestion is the perennial Aster amellus ‘King George.’ This prolific bloomer was given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticulture Society. It is an easy plant for a beginner and stays compact so that it doesn’t have to be staked. The Garden Lady is certain that this perennial can be easily located in England as well as the states.

The reader can Google up more names of other plants and look for the cultivar having the name George in it.

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  • For the lady whose friend’s son George recently died and was enquiring about plants of that name, there is a beautiful miniature iris whose cultivar name is simply ‘George’ (Iris histrioides ‘George’). This ‘George’ is an early spring bloomer, 6 inches tall, and is the deepest plum purple color of all the miniature irises. This little iris is extremely hardy and naturalizes well. I have planted a large swath of them in a rock garden and each spring, that garden is starred with these exquisite flowers (they have a sweet fragrance too), which bloom at the same time as the species crocuses.

    All the best,


  • Generally Ido not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

  • I am particularly interested in the “perennial Aster amellus ‘King George.’”. As I was informed by my grandmother that her father had cultivated this or a similar plant. Please could you provide me with any information you have on the subject. (her maiden name was “White” from “Crayfoots Haven” in Kent)

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