Which plant is 'London Pride'?

Brought to widespread attention by the patriotic song of the same name, 'London Pride' is the common name given to the perennial garden flowering plant Saxifraga × urbium. That being said, the Sweet William - Dianthus barbatus, was also previously identified as 'London Pride' prior to 1700.

Bomb damage in London
The song 'London Pride' was written and composed in the spring of 1941 during the Blitz, by English playwright, director, actor and singer Noël Coward(1899 –1973). Saxifraga x urbium was known to quickly colonised bomb sites and the song was intended to raise Londoners' spirits during the heavy air raids carried out during the Second World War.

Saxifraga x urbium is a hybrid between Saxifraga umbrosa (a native to the Spanish Pyrenees) and Saxifraga spathularis (from western Ireland). The hybrid has been known since at least the 17th century.

'London Pride' is an evergreen perennial which under favourable condition can be expected to grow to 30 cm in height. It is an effective ground cover plant, forming wide mats of leaf rosettes. The long-stalked leaves are spoon-shaped with scalloped margins.

Which plant is 'London Pride'?
Small pink-flushed white flowers are borne in lax panicles from early summer.

Position 'London Pride' in semi-shade to full shade. As you would expect from a plant that thrived amongst the ruins of London's blitz, it is easy to grow in any type of soil or situation.

Saxifraga × urbium received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993.
Main image - Hugo.arg is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
In text image - Holger Casselman licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
In text image - By Unknown - http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//295/media-295237/large.jpgThis is photograph HU 36157 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25092234

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