Over the last 30 to 40 years, the work of plant breeders has transformed osteospermums. They have been transformed from sprawling border perennials with pink flowers into bushy plants for summer containers in an astonishing range of colours.
Osteospermum Zion Purple Sun (‘Kleoe19396’) is being marketed as the first tri-colour osteospermum and this is one of those occasions when the marketing people and we gardeners actually agree.
The flowers are about 6cm across, and each ray petal is golden yellow at the tips shading to orange tones and then to purple around the eye.
It’s an astonishing combination and significant development compared with the yellow and purple Serenity Blue Eyed Beauty (‘Balostlueye’)
This is a bushy plant, reaching about 30cm high and 40-45cm wide. Ideal for summer patio containers, it will also thrive in sunny borders.
Like all single-flowered osteospermums, the petals tend to fold closed in dull or cool weather, so to encourage the flowers to stay open in less than ideal conditions choose a site that is both sunny and warm.
Zion Purple Sun is the 2018/2019 winner of the pan-European FleuroStar award, given each year by a panel of thirty expert judges from across Europe to the new vegetatively-propagated plant with the most dramatic “wow” effect. In this case the expert jury was impressed with the striking colour combination and the abundance of blooms and noted that gardeners will appreciate the non-fading petals and excellent outdoor performance.
Along with Salvia microphylla 'Wine and Roses' and Sedum takesimense Atlantis ('Nonsitnal'), Osteospermum Zion Purple Sun is one of the three most widely available new additions to the 2020 RHS Plant Finder.
Plants of Zion Purple Sun will be available to order from autumn from the RHS Plant Shop.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS.