April 17, 2011

Two rarities currently in bloom

Here is a Daphne most people rarely see, even in collections. Rarely seen in gardens except in those of collectors, is Daphne calcicola, a rarer Daphne which was introduced by the famous early Twentieth Century plant explorer, George Forrest in 1906, from the north western part of Yunnan. He describes it as "one of the most beautiful plants in western Yunnan, China, where it frequently smothers the ledges and faces of limestone cliffs and outcropping rocks with golden yellow flowers" My plant came from a collector, and is a clone of D. calcicola 'Gang Ho Ba', a true alpine in its original form, but one which needs protection since we believe that it is a true Zone 7 plant. Young plants grow less dense, but I still cherish it because few people have this clone, let alone this species. I keep it growing in a tufa rock filled stoneware container which spends the winter in the greenhouse.

What was obtained as a pure species form of Tropaeolum brachyceras, another of the Chilean tuberous Tropaeolums ( Nasturtium species) that I have bee collection, has bloomed as surprisingly, it is a rarer form - Tropaeolum x tenuirostre, a hybrid between T. brachyceras and T. tricolor ( which you may remember is also in bloom right now, in an earlier post). In its wild habitat, this cross happens also, and is now considered by many botanists as a new species, called a nothosoecies currently in 'active evolution', or a naturally occurring cross between two distinct species.


  1. What great unique specimens. Really cool.

  2. You have some amazingly wonderful plants in your collection.

  3. Love that Daphne! Saw it (or its cousin D. aurantiaca) on Yulongshan--that mountain range of marvels--about fifteen years ago. And I got two plants of it this past week (one from Arrowhead Alpines and the other from Wrightman's) and both are going outside....I will be taking lots of cuttings!


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