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Re: Athyrium nipponicum varieties

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Athyrium nipponicum varieties
  • From: "Judith I Jones" <judith@fancyfronds.com>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 13:26:53 -0700

Hello Matt,
    As you could probably tell by my response to John Scot's query re
painted fern cultivars I am very skeptical about all the named varieties.
Many are being promoted by Terra Nova, a tissue culture lab in Oregon.  I am
so disgusted with Dan Heims over taking a sporling grown from a. f-f.
'Cruciato-cristatum' 9"victoriae progeny' as I labeled it then) I sent to
some "grower" who re-nemed a couple of the sporlings and sent them to DAn to
introduce.  I indignantly told him they already had a nice long history and
that sporligns with the cruciate cristate character ala 'Victoriae' did not
need new names.  If you see . A.f-f. 'Dre's Dagger' it is nothing more than
a sporling from 'Victoriae' progeny.  They do not come true in tissue
culture anymore than they do from spores.  I have the first TC done with
them by Just for Satarters and I am still throwing away defective plants 6
years later.
    Now onto to your query re info on the so called named varieties of
'Pictum'  The following are offered by Terra Nova:
    'Ursula's Red' - selected by Ursula Herz in South Carolina.  A collector
but not really a spore grower this form cannot be picked out when mixed in
with a normal population of spore grown 'Pcitum'.
    'Silver Falls' selected by a Diana Ballantyne who never grew anyting
from spores but selected out a nice white form to had to Dan for royalties.
It is nice but again it would belnd in with a normal crop.
    'Burgundy Lace' - this is a nice form with lots of red flush on the
silver- a form which shows up as a small percentage in spore crops.  I have
several clumps I have kept like this over the years
    'Pewter Lace' - I haven't seen this in person but it looks like the
original plant of 'Ursula's REd' which has been "improved" and the photo has
changed over theyears since its introduction.  Too bad for the growers that
I have a very good memory plus a piece of the first group sold to compare
with.  There what I refer to as a red zone down the center of the blade.
    "Wildwood Twist' this is the one that really gets me as it is reputedly
a hybrid with otophorum.  It seems that very few commercial growers have any
clue about fern hybridization, how it happens, or how to recognize it.  I do
nto see any evidence of otophoum in this form but just a 'Pictum' going
towards straight niponicum and losing the white to blend into a muted green.
Again this form would be lost in a normal crop.
    'Apple Court' Tony Avent of Plant Delights brought this back froma
nursery in England who couldn't or wouldn't remember to credit where it came
from.  It reminds me of Reggie's crested form  It is not in his book but I
have the name 'Cristato-pinnullum' on my peice.   Whether that is correct or
not since I don't know depending on whether named it before 1959 or not.
    Do  you have Alan Leslie's e-mail address?  I am trying to track down
info about a Polsytichum he gave DAvid Plamer in 1982.   Barbara Hoshizaki
has beenhleping me sort out lots of unumaed species, especially Polsytichum
and Dryopteris.  Many growers, hobby and commercial never bother to check
the taxonomy on the ferns they introudce.  The gerneal attitude is who
cares? or if it came from a spore exchange it must be correct?  I have
endless lists of ferns that have been introudced as one species which are
actually something else altogether.
    Now that Jimmy is long gone and Martin is retired is there any BPS
member who has knowledge or access to information on Polytichum setiferum
variations.  I have some very remarkable ones I cannot pin down with the
resources I have.  I am especialy interested in finding if the Victorians or
anyone grew some dwarfs that are quite exquisite.  One is a 6" minature
spinose divisilobe, a  5" dwarf rotundatum type, and one with bunched fanned
pinnae no more than 4" high since 1991.  The spores may have come from
Couglins, Martin, Peter Boys's, or Joan's colelction as I collected spore
from allthose gardens.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Jimmy left
you the Jones Nature Prints and I washoping maybe ther might be some fronds
in there which you could compare if I sent some samples to you.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "ALBERT BUSBY" <matt4u@btopenworld.com>
To: <ferns@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 11:40 AM
Subject: [ferns] Athyrium nipponicum varieties

> Hello everyone
> Further to recent correspondence on nipponicum varieties. Here in the UK
the RHS Plantfinder is listing the following;
> Applecourt, Pewter Lace, Soul Mate, Red Beauty, Silver Falls, Ursula's Red
and Wildwood Twist.
> I have begun to receive mail from BPS members querring the validity and
quality of some of these varieties.
> I am hoping to aqcuire examples of each for a small trial in my garden.
> Any info on the origins of these varieties would be very useful to me.
> Happy fern growing from
> Matt Busby
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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