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Wisley's Alpine Diary

This entry: 29 January 2009 by Paul Cumbleton

Log 40

Log 40… 29th January 2009


I must start with a correction for one of the Bulbinellas pictured in the first log of 2009. I named the yellow flowered plant as B. latifolia ssp. latifolia, but it is actually Bulbinella nutans ssp nutans. The plants were given to us after having been grown from seed by a friend. He had obtained the seed from a farmer in South Africa and had thought the names I originally gave were correct. The seed had been taken from one location. However, it turns out that the two subspecies of B. latifolia do not occur together in the wild but grow in geographically different localities. A yellow flowered plant that does grow together with the orange flowered B. latifolia ssp. doleritica is B. nutans ssp nutans, which is now what we believe our yellow plants to be.


Back at Wisley after a couple of weeks off, I’m amazed at how much more colour there is in the Display House:

The Narcissus are dominating the display at the moment with pure whites to deep yellows. The vast majority at this time of year are the N. bulbocodium types. We are always trying to assess our growing methods and we thought that we had perhaps been a bit too mean with our watering of these in the past. So last year they were watered more often and they have responded very well, giving great pot-full of blooms such as this romieuxii type:

There are one or two plants of particular interest in the House at the moment. Eranthis hyemalis ‘Pauline’ is in flower. This a pale yellow form of the common aconite. If memory serves me, I think this arose back in the 1980s as an odd clump in the middle of otherwise normal-coloured plants in the garden of Patricia Dales. It is seldom seen these days, perhaps because it does not seem to be a very strong grower:

An Iris hybrid that has really caught our eyes has a wonderful combination of colours. This originates with one of the Canadian breeders and does not yet have a name:

I was really surprised by how much discussion there was not about plants but about the fish shown in my last log! There are obviously a lot of fish lovers out there who are also into plants. In fact I’ve heard this phrase quite often recently: “It’s surprising how many plant lovers are also into….”  and then various things are added. Two of note are “mineral collecting” (noteworthy because this is my own ‘other hobby’) and “entomology”.  This latter is pertinent because there is a lepidopteran treat at the moment for visitors to Wisley. Until the 22nd February you can see free-flying tropical butterflies in the large Glasshouse. So to stray away again from plants, here to end with are some pictures I took last weekend. The first three I managed to get the names of, but the rest I don’t know…but I’m sure there must be those of you out there who can write into the forum and let us know! This one is a Tree Nymph, Idea leucone :

Next is one of the most spectacular, the Blue Morpho, Morpho peleides :


This is one of the Owl butterflies, Caligo memnon (or maybe C. eurilochus – they are very similar) :

And the following I look to you all to name! :


Butterfly 1

Butterfly 2

Butterfly 3

Butterfly 4

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