Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Identity parade #5 - the answers

Nigel rose admirably to the challenge and guessed correctly no's 1, 2, and most amazingly 4 - and gets half-marks for nearly guessing no. 5, too. Well done that man. Here for those who are curious is the low-down on last week's idents:

Ruscus aculeatus - Butcher's broom. Very useful plant to know as it grows in the deepest of deep shade and has some rather pretty red berries in autumn. Most interesting for me though was those flowers - the 'leaves' aren't actually leaves at all, but modified flattened stems, and the flowers are borne right in the middle. Fascinating, and a little wierd.

Chaenomeles speciosa 'Nivalis' - I used to grow this in my previous garden and the flowers are for me the most beautiful of all the Japanese quinces.

Scilla mischtschenkoana - Pretty little thing, isn't it? If you want to know the difference between this and the earlier-flowering Chionodoxa, or 'Glory of the Snow', look at the petals - scillas have a blue stripe down the middle, whereas the Chionodoxa don't. At least, I think that's the way round...

Sequoiadendron giganteum - or more commonly, Californian redwood. Instantly recognisable as a tree - but this is the very lovely foliage. Slightly flattened and down-turned, and I think a bit of a revelation for those like me who haven't got much further than looking with mouth agape at the trunk.

Prunus 'Okame' - as Nigel said, there are so many flowering cherries and this could have been pretty much any one of them, so not really fair, but then who said this had to be fair?

There isn't an ident for this week - we're in the middle of a huge project at the moment (which is doing my head in and using up nearly every spare evening - my family is forgetting what I look like). So I thought, since we're having a pause, that I'd hand out a few virtual bouquets to you virtuoso plantsmen and women out there:

Big bunch of blowsy roses to VP with 14 points
Consolation chrysanths (but nice ones that weren't bought at the garage) to Nigel with 10
A handful of scented daffodils to Niels - 6
and a little posy of snowdrops to Anna - 5

back with some more wickedly annoying teasers soon....


VP said...

Hope the project's going well - hope you'll tell us all about it soon.

Did you spot the butcher's broom at the NCCPG stand at the RHS Show? It was most special as it had come from Buckingham Palace!

And mmm those blowsy roses are very nice :)

Plant Mad Nige said...

As soon as I read your answers, I kicked myself! 'Okame' of course!. Odd scilla, masquerading as a Chionodoxa but very beautiful.

I think the Ruscus at the RHS show, in the windowbox, was a named cultivar, but I can't remember which. If anyone does know, please tell me because it seems to be an excellent clone and I've got exactly the right spot for one in my dry, shady bit. Also, does anyone know if the females are self-fertile?

Could my Chrysanthemums please be those monstrous shredded coconut ones which the Japanese grow?

Thanks for a brilliant quiz. Looking forward to the next one. (It really is a scilla, is it??)

The Constant Gardener said...

I didn't see the Butcher's Broom at the RHS show, annoyingly - sounds great. According to Mary Keen in the Telegraph, they aren't self-fertile - you have to look for a hermaphrodite form (she says there's one called 'Wheelers Variety' - could this be your RHS one?) or take pot-luck on choosing a male and female (you can't tell the difference until they berry, or not, I believe).

VP - I'm a very superstitious person and since the project is a competition I'm not breathing a word just yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me - at the moment just getting the damn thing completed will be win enough for me though...

Nigel - shredded coconut chrysanths on their way.

And it may well not be a scilla. I never could tell the difference between them and Chionodoxa and we had them both in the ident. But like a drowning woman I clutched at the straw offered me by the tutor which is that Scilla always have a pale blue stripe down the back of the petal. Now if you're going to tell me Chionodoxas do too I shall turn up my toes and give up right now.

VP said...

Fingers and toes double crossed then!

Anna said...

Thanks for the snowdrop posy - you could not have chosen better :)

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