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”
A free-to-visit garden is not to be sniffed at – but then again, some of them are. Few visitors to a rose garden can resist leaning in to inhale the fragrance. We seem hard-wired to think ‘scent’ the moment after we think ‘rose’.
Forcing roses for a show often changes their character: flower size, colour and even form can show subtle or major differences from their typical appearance in the garden and you can see that here if you’re familiar with the rose. Continue reading “Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’”
Q: When is a Magnolia not a Magnolia?
A: When it’s a Calycanthus.
Calycanthus is an ornamental, multi-stemmed shrub that caught my eye last year at one of the flower shows. Large, creamy flower buds open out to fragrant blooms held above the foliage. The fleshy flowers are often compared to a magnolia, although the petals are slim, curly and more plentiful. Continue reading “Calycanthus ‘Venus’ | Carolina Allspice Hybrid”