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Pasque flower - wrong colour?

Hi everyone,
I bought a potted pasque flower last autumn (from RHS, I think). It's just come in to flower, but seems to be the wrong colour. I was expecting purple but this is red-ish purple.

I'm thinking either: I got sent the rubra variety; or, I added too much lime to the clay-ey soil before planting, and the alkalinity has affected the flower colour. I'm assuming that if pH does affect the colour of pasque flowers, then its in the same direction as hydrangeas and general pH tests - red for alkaline, blue for acid. So a colour that is too red would indicate an overly alkaline soil.

I'm disappointed as I don't actually like the current colour. (it's also now in the wrong colour section of my garden - if it's going to stay this colour, I'd want it up with my snake's head fritillary, though they like different soil conditions...

What do you think? Could pH, it something else, be affecting the colour? What, if anything, can I do to change it?
If I really want a proper purple colour, is the best thing actually to buy an in-flower plant where I can see that the colour is correct? 


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,651
    I've got different colour ones growing right next to each other, so it's probably the wrong variety. Happens all the time. Dig it up and pot it in different soil would be my advice, and see if it looks any more like you wanted it to and if not, plant it somewhere else. And yes, with quite a lot of plants (oriental poppies, hellebores, dahlias to name three that I've recently had come up the 'wrong' colour), if you want to be absolutely sure of the colour, buy one that's in bloom.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,108
    edited April 2019
    Looks like Pulsatilla rubra. BUT, they are almost as promiscuous as Aquilegia so any grown from seed where there is a variety of colours of P. vulgaris, then they do come up in a variety of hues from very pale pink (almost white) to the traditional purple. If you save the seed of that one and sow it fresh you could have a decent collection of different ones very quickly.
    Ph of soil has no effect on the colour by the way. They do all like a soil with lime in it, being natives of Chalk Downs.
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