Chelsea Flower Show’s Plant Of The Year Has Hearts For Leaves

published Sep 24, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Josie Elias/

With hundreds of entries at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a plant has to be unique to come out on top. What sets apart this year’s winner? It’s got heart, both figuratively and literally.

At the recent edition of the most famous garden event in the world, Cercis canadensis — or simply, Eternal Flame — was named 2021 Plant of the Year. Its most distinctive feature is its heart-shaped leaves, which start out as deep wine red but matures into burnt orange and then lime yellow as the year progresses. In the spring, it also grows dark pink flowers along the stems.

It’s no surprise why the judges picked this shrub; it’s so cute and eye-catching:

Bred by horticulturist Denny Werner from North Carolina State University across many years, Eternal Flame is a stunning addition to any garden. It can be kept as a shrub with continuous pruning, or allowed to grow into a small 13-foot tree. It is low maintenance, too, as it thrives in sunny spots in most soil types, and is said to be tough and resilient. Even better, for those living in apartments, it can also be grown in containers.

Strangely, it’s a bit difficult to find places that sell Cercis canadensis online (unless you live in the U.K.). There’s a listing on Home Depot. It’s priced at $82.95, but unfortunately, it’s out of stock.

If your heart is set on this plant, though, keep your eyes peeled — it might just become more available.