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Featured Conservation Plants: March 2015

March 2015:
Lychnis x walkeri ‘Abbotswood Rose’ (AGM)

Lychnis x walkeri ‘Abbotswood Rose’ (AGM) was named after Abbotswood Garden, a classic early 20th century English garden near Stow-in-the Wold owned by plantsman Mark Fenwick. A hardy hybrid involving Lychnis coronaria and Lychnis flos-jovis, it forms a compact clump of silver-white hairy leaves 30-40cm tall and 20cm spread.

From early to late summer grey branching stems to 40cm bear sprays of rounded 5-petalled bright rose-pink flowers to 3 cm across. The flower stems are not held upright but angled out. It is best suited to well-drained, poorish soils in full sun, but also does well in pots with well-draining compost. In rich soils it may be short-lived. Overall, Lychnis x walkeri ‘Abbotswood Rose’ is very similar in appearance to L. coronaria but shorter with flower stems that are not held erect, but can sprawl out sideways to give a more clump-like shape. First generation seedlings also produce similar compact plants but to ensure that the true plant is propagated the original clump must be divided and grown on as seedlings from the parent cannot be guaranteed to produce the same plant.

Despite being recognised as a good garden plant with an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural SocietyLychnis x walkeri ‘Abbotswood Rose’ is not easy to obtain as there is only one supplier listed in the RHS Plant Finder 2014.


The Conservation scheme involves HPS members in growing these plants and documenting the best way to grow and propagate them. The plants are distributed across the country with many local groups and individual growers being involved.

The scheme is open to all HPS members. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Since the present scheme started in 1998, we have been successful in conserving over 30 plant varieties that are, in our opinion, all worthy of being grown in British gardens. However, there are still a large number of potentially garden worthy plants in need of conservation.

If you are a interested in making this (or any other of our conservation plants) available on a commercial basis, please contact the National Coordinator.


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