Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Petunia x hybrida Hort ex Vilm. var. grandiflora

Probably early Petunia nyctaginiflora x P. violacea hybrids.  See Petunia axillaris (Lam.) Britton, Stern & Pogenb.  Even the early hybrid garden forms were available in a range of colours from purple through pink and red to pure white.  The accompanying figure shows three forms, deep rose pink, pure white and white with a crimson throat.  These forms are instantly recognisable to any modern gardener.  The varietal name grandiflora refers to the larger flowers of the hybrids and is still in use today.

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The charming group here figured represents seedling varieties of a hybrid between Petunia violacea and P. nyctaginiflora, and it must be confessed that here, as in many other vegetable productions, the art and skill of the Horticulturist has improved nature.  Cultivation, alone, has, indeed, very much increased the size of the flowers and foliage of this plant: so that it can scarcely be recognized as belonging to the same species as the native specimens sent by Mr. Tweedie; while in plants that are raised from seeds which are the offspring of P. nyctaginiflora and P. violacea (as represented in the annexed plate), the tube becomes longer, and narrower than in the latter, and the whole plant, save in colour, almost precisely similar to the former.  There are various shades of purple on the corollas, but in every one the tint, though often exceedingly brilliant on the first expansion, soon fades to a paler and less bright hue.  Some are pale pink, streaked within with deep purple lines, very much after the manner of Salpiglossis picta: others are nearly of a pure white; but all have the tube dark-coloured.  These varieties are equally hardy with the parents.

With regard to the Genus of this plant, I never can consent to its being referred to Nierembergia; but I do entirely agree with Professor Lindley in uniting it with Petunia, and gladly adopt the amended character which that able Botanist has given of this Genus, and the views he has taken of its structure and affinities.

These varieties of Petunia and the Phlox Drummondii were decidedly among the greatest ornaments of the green-house in the Glasgow Botanic Garden during the month of May (1836), a season too early for them to come to perfection in the open border.’  [BM t.3556/1837].

History at Camden Park

Only mentioned in documents in 1846.


Published Oct 10, 2009 - 04:39 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2010 - 04:27 PM

Shown are petunias with funnel-shaped flowers in deep pink, white and pink and white.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3556, 1837.

Petunia x hybrida Hort. ex Vilm var. grandiflora | BM t.3556/1837 | BHL

Family Solanaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England and Europe

  • Petunia grandiflora Hort. 
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Petunia grandiflora 

Confidence level high