A couple of years ago we were contacted by an alpines enthusiast who asked if we could identify a black-flowered Pulsatilla that had come into his possession. We can’t remember the precise details now, but the background led us to believe the plant in question was Pulsatilla rubra ssp hispanica, a native of the Pyrenees. The gentleman in question was later kind enough to bring us, when he passed through the Southampton area, 3 seedlings of said plant.
Sadly, we lost one of these, but the remaining two plants grew on strongly in one of our greenhouses. A little while back, we noticed that one of them had produced two buds, and since then we have been observing them with increasing levels of excitement as the flowers prepared to open. And today was the day when the flowers opened fully to reveal their true splendour, with petals dark as a starless midnight. They are, it has to be said, absolutely stunning, an opinion that seemed to be echoed by those nice people on Twitter, when we shared our little beauty there.
The next step, we suppose, is to find a way of increasing our rather meagre stock of these lovely little plants, whether that be by seed or by root cuttings. We will have a think about that once we have got over the thrill of seeing our little plant produce flowers of such intense loveliness.
Rob & Joanna – April 2012.