isoplexis and digiplexis side by side

There’s no telling which of these, if either, will be around for photos next year, so now’s the time for a side-by-side color comparison.
According to this article, it was Isoplexis canariensis that was crossed with Digitalis purpurea to give us Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame.’ The photo on the right is of Isoplexis isabelliana, but the color if not the flower shape is a good semblance of I. canariensis, with probably less gold and more burnt orange. (Being ever on the lookout for the tall, spiky, and orange, I’ve trialed a few isoplexis. I. canariensis was short-lived in my garden.) The shocking pink, apricot-throated digiplexis to my eye exudes a Jonathan Adler-inspired play with colors. In its new guise, dear old digitalis has been liberated from the genteel confines of the shady cottage garden. Even though able to handle full sun, especially near the coast, the unseasonal 20-degree jump into the 90s today and for the rest of the week is not to either plant’s liking, or mine for that matter. I’ve had verbascums collapse under similar conditions. They both held up surprisingly well this first day of the heat wave. Some lateral spikes broke off a few days ago but were saved for a vase.

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If it lives up to its sturdy reputation, I wouldn’t be surprised if digiplexis has a future as a florist’s pet.


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10 Responses to isoplexis and digiplexis side by side

  1. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Great side by side comparison. I’d been wondering about the appearance of the Isoplexis parent. Digiplexis is all the rage here this year. So far, I’ve resisted but your images are weakening my resolve.

  2. David Feix says:

    A range of Digiplexis colors is to be expected next spring, be prepared. Pink and orange are a favorite color combo of mine, and why I so adore Arctotis ‘Pink Sugar’, but 9 months long bloom period doesn’t hurt either. Cantua buxifolia ‘Hot Pants’ is another bi-colored crush of mine this time of year.

  3. Denise says:

    @Peter, the thin leaves of the isoplexis were having more trouble with the intense sun than the diplexis yesterday. Even one of the leaves on my Agave ‘Blue Flame’ burned!
    @David, jeez, I don’t know if I’ll be trialing every one! (famous last words)

  4. Kris P says:

    My largest Digiplexis took a beating in the high winds last week but the 3 smaller ones, better buffered by the house, seem to have held their own so far. Of course, the winds have been bad again today and the temperatures are running higher than yesterday so who knows what I’ll find by week’s end…

  5. Denise says:

    Kris, the fall-planted ones are faring much better. These winds can be the devil on newly planted stuff, where no amount of water seems to help.

  6. ks says:

    The It plant is just budding up here, spring planted (nowhere to be found in fall) and seems quite robust so far.In a leap of faith I have made it a repeated element before it proves itself.I am relying on past wild success with it’s buddy Digitalis.

  7. DC Tropics says:

    I’m waiting to hear more about heat & humidity tolerance before trying them in my own garden! Although realistically, if I see on in a garden center I’ll probably buy it anyway! BTW note that “Digiplexis” is a trademark name, technically Digiplexis™, and not a true intergeneric name. The Isoplexis species have been moved to Digitalis, so the correct name would be Digitalis ‘Illumination Flame’. (BTW this also means that, aside from the trademark owner, anybody who makes more such crosses cannot call them “Digiplexis”!)

  8. Denise says:

    @Kathy, that is a leap of faith, and if it works out what a splashy, pina colada garden you’ll have this summer. Go for broke, I say!
    @DC, thanks for the info on correct nomenclature. I can get a little sloppy 😉

  9. I have resisted Digiplexis thus far. The price vs. the questionable hardiness keeps me in check. But the flowers, ooh, la, la. They’re really nice. Your photos are not helping my resolve, one bit. 🙂

  10. les says:

    We are sipping the Digiplexis kool-aid and bought a tray of plugs early in the winter. They were potted up, given an above-freezing chill period, and they quickly grew lush and full. We planted them out in the garden about a month ago. Like DC, we are awaiting the HHH days to see how well they do in the southeast.

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