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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

Digitalis ‘Illumination Raspberry’: Latest in the popular series

Posted by Graham Rice on 21 Apr 2013 at 01:26 PM

Digitalis ‘Illumination Raspberry’: Latest in the popular series Image © Thompson & MorganThe Illumination Series of foxgloves is an impressive addition to our range of hardy perennials and a fine example of the plant breeder’s art and science.

Created by Thompson & Morgan plant breeder Charles Valin, who earlier this month was awarded the RHS Cory Cup, the Society’s award for excellence in plant breeding, the series combines our familiar purple-flowered biennial foxglove and its uncommon relative from the Canary Islands, Digitalis canariensis (formerly Isoplexis canariensis), with its orange flowers and rather woody habit.

The first result of bringing these two unlikely relatives together was ‘Illumination Pink’. This was followed by ‘Illumination Chelsea Gold’, which won the Plant of The Year award at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show, and now the latest to appear is ‘Illumination Raspberry’.

‘Illumination Raspberry’ has the same upright habit, and the same long long season of flower spikes, this time in a rather purplish raspberry red with a pale speckled throat, And it has the same impressive attraction to bees as its predecessors in the series.

Good in sunny borders that are well-drained, and also in containers, the plants are sterile, no seed is produced, so they flower continuously for many months.

Digitalis ‘Illumination Raspberry’ will be available in a collection with ‘Illumination Pink’, on Richard Jackson’s Garden on QVC TV, on Saturday 26 April at 9am. You’ll find QVC on Sky Digital (channel 640), on Virgin TV (channel 740), on Freesat (channel 800) and on Freeview (channel 16). The same collection will then be available on the QVC website while stocks last.

 

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