Plants of the Week: August 27
x Gordlinia grandiflora is an interesting study in intergeneric hybridization. The cross, with Franklinia alatamaha as the female parent and Gordonia lasianthus as the male parent, was made in 2002 by Tom Ranney of the North Carolina State University Experiment Station in Fletcher, NC. This fast growing hybrid features the best of both parents. Far Reaches Farm summarized this marriage best with the following: “This is a cross between the very hardy but somewhat finicky deciduous Franklinia alatamaha and the amenable but not so hardy evergreen loblolly bay, Gordonia lasianthus. The result is a plant that is evergreen and vigorous with larger (3″-4″) white flowers than either parent.” A 2010 accession can be seen near Sproul Observatory. The site, offering protection from winter winds and well-draining soil has yielded a happily established specimen. Photo credit: J. Coceano
The Pollinator Garden, nestled between Martin Hall and the Science Center is easy to overlook but not to be missed as August finds Lobelia siphilitica, Coreopsis, Kalimeris and Pycnanthemum in full bloom. Among these perennials, Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ has been a summer standout. This selection possesses outstanding mildew resistance with sweetly scented, lavender flowers. The individual flowers, known as pips, are small compared to other garden phlox. Despite their reduced size, the flowers are a magnet for butterflies and bees. ‘Jeana’ received a perfect 5-star rating from the Mt. Cuba Center’s 2017 Phlox Research Report. Photo credit: J. Coceano
Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’ has become one of my favorite plants! Originally offered at the 2017 Scott Arboretum Selections: Spring Sale, several plants remained post sale, were potted up, and overwintered in the Wister Greenhouses. Possessing a beautiful symmetry, the 2 – 3’ tall plants bear large, fleshy, sword-like variegated leaves. This month a flower spike emerged from within the thick pseudostem boasting a dozen or so individual buds opening to reveal 2” pure white lily-like flowers. Sources cite this as an easy-to-care for Crinum; treat as a houseplant in winter then move outdoors during warm months for a bold, exotic addition to the summer garden. Photo credit: J. Coceano
EdPosted at 16:18h, 31 August
Tom Rainey merely repeated a known cross
Becky RobertPosted at 16:47h, 05 September
Here is the Abstract on xGordlinia. Yes, the cross had been made before in the 70s, but all those plants died. Ranney in essence was the first to successfully cross the two and have them live. He made a total of nine hybrids. From those we have the plants that are in the trade.