Bed D: Plant 21 & Bed P: Plant 22 & Bed L: Plant 05
AGM 1992 AM 1990
‘Unique’ was grown and introduced in 1968 by the de Belders for its large, pure white sterile florets (about 2″ across) and rounded sepals. The showy sepals almost completely conceal the fertile flowers. The inflorescences may reach 16 inches long by 10 inches wide. A fairly large shrub which should grow 10 – 14 feet high. Later flowering, approximately mid-July in zone 7b. ‘Unique’ resulted from seedlings of ‘Floribunda’. The seedlings were uprooted by birds, and the one plant that remained was properly termed ‘Unique.’ The other story has it that it was the only plant left after a trainee thoroughly weeded a seedbed. Whichever is true, ‘Unique’ has become the parent to several outstanding cultivars.
It has been reported that this cultivar is horribly confused in nursery commerce, and seldom is the true form. Prof. Dirr comments in the above publication that he has grown 3 so-called ‘Unique’ shrubs, none were true to description above. He states that Ted Stephens, Nurseries Carolinian, North Augusta, SC was able to secure the true ‘Unique’ from the curator of Hillier Arboretum, and now offers these as true Unique. Descriptions given as to height and color of the flowers by Van Gelderen in the text above, are at odds with what Prof. Dirr reports as the ‘True Unique’, so it is left up to the gardener to compare the two descriptions and decide whether they have the original cultivar. At the RHS & European Trials at Wisley. They say: A very good cultivar
UK Plant Finder: 2012 = 32 nurseries: