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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’: New from Plants of Distinction

Posted by Graham Rice on 19 Feb 2011 at 04:03 PM

zinnia,queen,red,lime,chiltern,distinction. Image ©Benary SeedsSometimes, trends come together in an interesting way.

For some years now, we’ve seen an increasing range of annuals, for cutting and for summer display, in colours which are described as “antique”. These are shades with overlays of beige tints, with unexpected colour combinations, with a slightly distressed air to them and with the dusty and faded look of old padded furniture. Nicotianas and violas, in particular, come to mind.

In recent years we’ve also started to see the come back of the Zinnia. Recent varieties, like ‘Zahara Double Fire’, are more robust than older types, and as long as we try not to shoehorn them into the standard ways of raising half hardy annuals, they’re easy to grow and provide an extended and prolific display.

Now, these two trends have come together with the introduction of a lovely new zinnia, primarily intended for as a cut flower – ‘Queen Red Lime’ (above, click to enlarge). Reaching about 26in/65cm, the plants are well branched and the flowers are held on long strong stems. Each fully double, 3in/7.5cm flower is – well, the colour’s hard to describe, it’s unique. Click the picture to enlarge it and you’ll see for yourself.

Ideally, sow the seeds in a row outside at the end of May but with only 30 seeds in a packet, you may feel happier sowing them individually in small pots or cells. Keep the compost a little on the dry side, overwatering is fatal.

You can order seed of Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’ from Chiltern Seeds and from Plants of Distinction.

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