My acquisition of Tradescantia (Andersoniana Group) ‘Danielle’ is a story of co-operation and generosity between gardening enthusiasts. I am very grateful to Alasdair and Elizabeth MacGregor of the Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery in Ellenbank, near Kirkcudbright in Galloway, southwest Scotland, for their help in adding this rare and very special cultivar to the Collection.

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

Elizabeth MacGregor is perhaps most famous for introducing Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ which she originally spotted in a batch of wild seedlings at her nursery in 2003 and which, after great encouragement from Roy Lancaster and years of trial and error with micro-propagation in order to bring it to market, was voted ‘Chelsea Plant of the Year’ in 2011.

Although I have never met, or even spoken to Elizabeth MacGregor, my email enquiry to the nursery in October 2021 was met with a very helpful response by her husband Alasdair who said that Elizabeth had promised to divide her plant in the spring and send me a piece. Would I please contact them again in early spring to remind them which I duly did, offering to pay for the plant and the p&p. Then it went quiet until, on 25th April, a box arrived with a perfectly packaged ‘Danielle’. No invoice, no request for any contribution to the cost of p&p. Just one plant enthusiast helping another.

What makes T. ‘Danielle’ so striking is the size of the flowers on compact foliage, the perfectly white petals, stamens and filament hairs topped with yellow anthers matched to lush mid-green leaves. For me, this is a better example than T. ‘Innocence’ whose flowers are smaller, grey/white by comparison and with mauve filaments. or T. ‘Blanca’ whose flowers seem to get lost in a mass of foliage.

Time will tell, and perhaps I am making an overly favourable judgement on a plant I am very pleased to have and have only just acquired, but so far it is up there with the best in my opinion.

My correspondence with Kevin Vaughn in Oregon revealed that he has produced a similar plant with very large pure white flowers which he is hoping to bring to market once trials have proved it is stable. I am looking forward to comparing it against ‘Danielle’.