Historical date for Habranthus,Tulbagia

johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk
Wed, 24 Aug 2005 02:08:37 PDT
One of the handiest sources of information on dates of introduction to
horticulture is the old RHS Dictionary of Gardening (not the New RHS
Dictionary), which provides it (where known) for each species described (I
must get myself a set for this reason alone). Of course this is the date of
its first RECORD in horticulture, mostly British horticulture at that, not
necessarily the precise date of introduction. To find dates of introduction
to a specific area would be very difficult, unless there was a complete set
of catalogues from an important general nurseryman. Not all plants come into
cultivation through nurseries anyway, being passed around between friends.

Cynthia's quest for information on Tradescantia (Setcreasa) pallida is
interesting, because this is quite commonly grown in the UK as a houseplant
(although remarkably hardy), but I see from the Plantfinder that only 3
nurseries stock it. It's one of those plants that appears on plant stalls at
church fetes, etc, like Aloe aristata.

Tony Avent's Plant Delight's Nursey is selling a fabulous new selection of
"Setcreasa", 'Kartuz Giant'. It has broader, bigger leaves and seems to me
to be brighter purple than the normal one. I got a plant of it in my annual
order this year and have been most impressed. It was therefore introduced to
British horticulture in 2005 by virtue of my having obtained one - and
probably others did as well - but how long will it be before it appears in
catalogues here?

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Website: http://www.colesbournegardens.org.uk/
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Cynthia Mueller" <c-mueller@tamu.edu>
> Her exact comment was..."... I've found dates of intro for about 475
plants grown or sold at Goodwood over the years or common in our  region.  A
few very ordinary plants have defeated me - Setcreasea pallida Habranthus
robustus, tulbaghia, for example.  It matters because we try to handle only
heirloom plants (Goodwood's absolute cut off date is 1930).
>             Do you know of any resource I would be likely to have missed?
> I've used primary sources (catalogs etc) where possible, secondaries
> (authors such as Wm Welch etc) where they oiffered verifiable, searchable
> I hope this might bring another outburst of facts....
> Cynthia Mueller

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