A couple of half days with Asia looking for rare seeding trees. The first in driving rain and the second, today, ending in thunder and a hailstorm. Nevertheless we found many things seeding for the first time as you will see here. Our prime target was rhododendron species but most were a month or so off being ripe. It made sense to list and record our targets to preserve and grow those elderly species which will die out in 10 or so years from old age. It has been a good seeding year for rhododendrons after a dry summer encouraged them to procreate.
Our target list included:
Mrs Butler (griffithianum x arboreum hybrids)
decorum (pink and white)
We didn’t get to look at but Asia will now have in hand to gather:
arboreum (three colours)
We drew a blank with no seed pods on the following:
barbatum (old clump half dead)
It will take some time to gently dry off what we gathered.
Photinia beauverdiana var. notabilis with its massive clusters of now ripening orange-red fruits. A very impressive tree with weeping laden branches. This is the second year we have gathered some.
The first two seed pods from the first ever flowering of Rehderodendron indochinense. These remain a pale green but fell off into my hand when touched so are clearly ripe. Rehderodendron macrocarpum seeds turn pink when ripe.
The odd secondary flower on a young Rhododendron crassum. Unusual!
Ilex latifolia laden with seeds above the greenhouse. Well worth growing a few.
Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Camelliifolia’ in a similar condition not far away.
The Cornwall champion Acer caesium subsp. giraldii has been given more light and has responded with a large crop of viable seed which we have never noticed or got around to collecting before.
A day or two ago we had chapter and verse from Susyn Andrews about the identity of this Symplocos which we used to call Symplocos glomerata (it is all in this diary). This prompted us to see if it was actually seeding. Asia collected seed from Symplocos dryophila in the late summer but we found the small tree of Symplocos aff. sumuntia laden with upright green seed heads and one or two clumps of seed which were juicy and had turned black. Asia is standing alongside the tree. Once black the seeds were dropping and I guess that we must just have missed them in the past.
A large but as yet unripe seed head on Syringa emodii ‘Aureovariegata’. This is an expensive grafted plant in the nursery and therefore well worth growing. There are no other lilacs anywhere near so the seed should come true with variegated leaves as here.
Loads of ripe seed on Meliosma dilleniifolia subsp. cuneifolia which I have never actually seen juicy and ripe before now. The tree was laden with fruit.
I am afraid I have no idea what this tree is just above Charlie Michaels Nursery. I have guessed it as a Juglans species but these are not obvious walnuts. Single seed pods stand erect from the leading twigs here and there but I have never noticed a flower. I must ask Tom Hudson if he can enlighten us or indeed any other diary reader??
Garlic showing already in Pound Corner. A bulb on the ground is sprouting.
A successful gathering which I could have shown you more of but for the terrible weather.
2018 – CHW
A second and rather different old white Camellia sasanqua is now just out. Different foliage, habit and flower shape.
The final and darker pink sasanqua is also full out. All five are different and the light pink one is very nearly over but you can, today, compare them all at once. Some years the early ones are over before the last ones start. Wasps galore on the nectar as you can see.
A young blackbird digging through the newly laid mulch in the border opposite the Camellia sasanquas.
2017 – CHW
A few other oddments on Burns Bank which I had totally forgotten.
Pentapanax verticillatus was planted 10 years ago and may well have a new name now? It has grown very slowly but appears to be fine. These ‘something’ panax are going to take quite some sorting out or remembering: pseudopanax, tetrapanax, dendropanax, oreopanax etc.
Parrotia subaequalis has attractive blackish autumn colour but still also with bright green secondary new growth. This is the third time we have planted this relatively new introduction and the only success.
Camptotheca acuminata – the Chinese Happy Tree or Cancer Tree is doing well although it has clearly suffered and had a dieback in earlier winters. Tom Hudson says his plants ‘fizzled out’ before they developed a more mature trunk. This is a very new tree in New Trees which I had no idea we had obtained or been given. Attractive new growth and used in cancer treatment apparently. One to take to The Garden Society dinner next autumn. Quite a bit of reading up to do about this new genus. Rather an exciting find! Planted in 2007 and now 10-12ft tall.
2016 – CHW
The first rather pale single light pink Camellia sasanqua is now full out and rather fine in the sun.
The single white sasanqua has its first three flowers.
The single darker pink is coming out more fully but the flowers are smaller than the light pink one.
2015 – CHW
Although the four new Liquidamber styraciflua varieties along Sinogrande Walk are not yet showing full colour I thought it interesting to look at them today in full sun. They are at different stages of their autumn show. All four were planted in 2008.
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Oconee’ was bred in Oconee County, Georgia, USA. It has a dense shrubby habit and rounded ball like habit. Does best in full sun as here.
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Gumball’ (‘Gum Ball’) has a similar habit to ‘Oconee’ but perhaps not such good autumn colour. We will see. This clone was found in Tennessee.
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Kia’ has a pronounced leader and, of the four, is the first to show good colour which is initially reddish. Today it is the best of the four which all came from Endsleigh nurseries after a good lunch although I doubt that they were grafted by them.
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’ has smaller leaves but an upright habit. Sadly the camera battery died before I could do this one justice but we will try again in a week or two.
1990 – FJW
George Henry Williams arrived into the world – heavy rain in evening.
1962 – FJW
Month of dry weather – poor year for Camellia seed.
1919 – JCW
It is very dry now and so deep in the ground. The hydrangeas are the best things. R decoum is good, some flower on many rhodo’s. A very fine autumn and summer, the old men say the finest in their lives.
1917 – JCW
All things are late this year, some corn out on the Barton now. Clematis panniculata is very good, and there is one lovely maple in the Drive.
1913 – JCW
Camellia sasanqua started a week ago, R lutescens is opening. Various R auriculatums, R primulinum, bits of R racemosum etc. Berberis bealei is dying. A daff or two moving in the pans.
1907 – JCW
Several two year old white Nar King Arthur blood are up. Belladonnas not properly open.
1901 – JCW
Two seedlings through pans 308 and one through 311. Some Sternbergias are out.
1897 – JCW
I see daffs Polyanthus and Maximus above ground. C europeum very good. An odd flower of Coum, the leaves of the Crocus imperati. Sternbergia lutea at its best.
(Handwritten note attached to page, dated 21st May 1932)
I put yellow Maddeni hybrid on the whole of hard and honey yellow Roylei.
Additional note: I picked the seed in October 1934.