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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

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New autumn and spring flowering wallflower

Posted by Graham Rice on 17 Jul 2012 at 10:02 PM

'Sugar Rush' wallflower blooms in autumn as well as spring. Image ©FloranovaThe colour, the fragrance – the humble British wallflower is a vital part of our spring; in fact no other country has such an attachment to wallflowers, we grow far more than anyone else.

Of course we all think of wallflowers as essentially spring flowers, in fact they need a chilly spell to switch on flowering, that’s why they never flower in the autumn. Until now.

In the British-bred ‘Sugar Rush’, this requirement for vernalisation, as it’s called, has been eliminated. They need no cold snap to initiate flowering so plants will flower in the autumn, sometimes lasting till Christmas. Pinch off the dead flowers and they then take a break before flowering again in spring.

‘Sugar Rush’ comes in a mixture of four colours - rich red, gold, primrose and purple - and the plants are relatively short, too, unlike many traditional types which can grow so tall that they fall over in full flower. The ‘Sugar Rush’ mixture also features that lovely fresh wallflower fragrance.

Sow the seeds in July and the first flowers will be opening in the autumn. Plants are hardy down to -15C/5F, so they’re tough, and reaching only about 12in/30cm in height, they’re especially good in containers.

You can order plugs of wallflower ‘Sugar Rush’ from Mr Fothergill.

You can order seed of wallflower ‘Sugar Rush’ from Plants of Distinction.

And look out for it in your local garden centre in the autumn.


Jassica Thomsan said:

Really wonderful acticle..

on 18 Jul 2012 at 06:35 AM