Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kathryn's Choice



Back in 1997, I made the pilgrimage to Hamlin NY to see the lovely garden of Kathryn Root. The first thing I saw was a clump of lemon flowers blooming in front of a blue rain barrel. I immediately said, "What 's that flower?" And without missing a beat she replied, "That's Mike F."

Kathryn was a keen collector and hybridizer for many years. She worked with diploids from the lines of Sarah Sikes, Pauline Henry, and Elizabeth Yancey, as well as tets from many breeders. She created many fine flowers over the years, but never introduced any, choosing instead to name them after the person who appreciated them most. 

This is probably the most vigorous plant I grow, with dense deep blue-green foliage that curls as it grows. The color is brilliant lemon. The squarish flowers face outward all around the plant. It has three- to four-way branching and a budcount of 18-22. Tiny puckered pleated ruffles on both petals and sepals. Thick creped substance. While it doesn't rebloom for me here in the city, Kathryn's daughter Ginny Byers (with whose blessing I introduce it) reports rebloom in her garden near Lake Ontario. Fragrant. Nocturnal. Extended bloom. Starts mid-June here. Plants will be multiple fans.

Kathryn once confided to me that this one was her best. She paid me the compliment of calling it after me. I will return the favor by naming it in her honor. 

Stella de Oro x Camden Gold Dollar
Flower 3 1/2 x 1 3/4 x 1"
Height 24"
Dormant
Early
Reblooms

Introduced at $25


Price for 2016: $15


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