In horticultural circles, new varieties are released with a fanfare of publicity. But we all make mistakes, even plant breeders.
Lilies are often grown for cutting but their ample pollen has an unfortunate way (from a human-centric viewpoint) of staining paintwork and wedding dresses. In double lilies, the pollen-bearing parts (anthers) have mutated to extra petals, removing the problem. So in the last few years, several companies have been marketing double forms of Lilium orientalis as Roselilies, Lotus lilies or Double Orientals.
When I photographed Lilium ‘Roselily Samantha’ a couple of years ago, I noticed that some of the blooms had a curious blunt look before they were fully open, caused by incurved petals at the centre. I liked the effect, although it reminded me more of a bromeliad than a rose. The upper petals had a tendency to open over the tops of the previous layer rather than to overlap as a double rose would. Continue reading “Not All Plants That Glitter Are Gold”
An English Rose that pretty much has it all. The flowers are huge, fragrant, and very distinctive because of their deeply cupped flower form, although you can’t really appreciate the depth of the bloom from this angle. The colour is classic rose pink. It’s a shrubby type of rose, but fairly compact, with stems sturdy enough to bear the weight of the flowers. Continue reading “Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra Of Kent’”
Hellebores are intriguing plants because they hybridise so readily, giving rise to many different forms. If your knees can stand it, it’s worth bending down and lifting the flower to see what’s inside as the backs of the petals often give little clue of what’s inside.
While the inner petals can be clear, they’re often streaked, spotted, splashed or neatly edged with a contrasting colour. Some forms have enlarged nectaries or double rows of petals. Continue reading “Hellebore Macros”