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Digitalis cross is in the pink at Chelsea

'Impossible' foxglove Illumination Pink is crowned the RHS Plant of the Year 2012

Digitalis Illumination Pink ('Tmdgfp001')

Tropical-looking foxglove Digitalis Illumination Pink ('Tmdgfp001') takes the deserved title of RHS Plant of the Year 2012.

The peachy-pink flowered perennial was the overwhelming winner voted for by members of RHS plant committees. It was said to be impossible to breed this foxglove but Thompson & Morgan took on the challenge in 2006 and crossed Digitalis (Isoplexis) canariensis with Digitalis purpurea to achieve this exotic looking garden gem. The multi-branching spikes display flowers from June to November which are said to be a magnet for bees.

It is being grown in the Generation Gardens (GPD1-4).

RHS President Elizabeth Banks presented the trophy to Thompson & Morgan at the Plant of the Year display in the Great Pavilion (GPG 10).

Dianthus Memories ('WP11 Gwe04') from Whetman Pinks with its striking white, strongly perfumed flowers and grey foliage took second place while third went to JS Pennings 'De Bilt' for its double-flowered dark blue Hyacinthus orientalis 'Royal Navy'.

Other entrants this year included;

Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Lace' has large lobelia-blue flowers and Streptocarpus 'Sweet Melys'  is said to be the first streptocarpus with a strong scent). Both are from Dibley’s Nurseries (GPD10).

Tillandsia 'Samantha' from Every Picture Tells a Story (GPB8) has pale-green-pink candle inflorescence.

Nepenthes 'Linda' from Hampshire Carnivorous Plants (GPF2) has large, colourful pitchers.

Leucanthemum × superbum 'Freak!' is repeat-flowering throughout the summer and repeat-flowering Osteospermum 'In The Pink' are both from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants (GP16).

Choisya × dewitteana 'Aztec Gold' from Hillier Nurseries (GPD13) has a bushy habit and aromatic, golden-yellow foliage.

Lilium 'Bethan Evans' (Martagon) is hardy to -35°c and strongly-perfumed Lilium 'Cream Tea' from HW Hyde & Son.

Rosa The Queen's Jubilee Rose ('Beajubilee') from Peter Beales Roses (GPD16) has fragrant blooms that are white-blushed with peach. 

Heuchera 'Circus' from Plantagogo (GPH13) is mainly grown for its colour-changing foliage which goes from deep green to light green and then silver green with clear green rim with purple veining which deepens in the spring. In autumn the foliage turns pink and which deepens in colour through the winter.

Being grown in the Generation Gardens (GPD1-4) are:
Dianthus barbatus Green Trick ('Temarisou') that has flowers the size of tennis balls, Digitalis 'Silver Cub' with multiple flower stems bearing white blooms, produced from a rosette of silvery-white, woolly leaves, and Petunia × atkinsiana Gioconda Series, which is a free-spreading plant bred to withstand temperatures of -5°c.

Clematis 'Shikoo' from Thorncroft Clematis (GPD6) has double, blue early flowers.

Aeonium 'Cornish Tribute' and Aeonium 'Logan Rock' from Trewidden Nursery (GPC25) both have a compact form making them ideal for pot and container growing. They are also drought tolerant.

See all the shortlisted plants

Information on Chelsea's new plants