Mary Greig, Royston, B.C.
The following few comments on R. croceum and R. wardii, also R. chlorops may be of interest, in view of the notes on these species by Mr. Lancaster and Dr. Phetteplace in the A.R.S. Quarterly Bulletin for January 1961.
Although we know that croceum is no longer a valid species, but is included in wardii, the plant we imported many years ago from the Sunningdale Nurseries is quite distinct, from a garden point of view, from R. wardii - or at least our form of the latter. Botanically they do not differ, but our "croceum" is much smaller in leaf, and though rather smaller in flower too, it is very floriferous. It blooms two or three weeks later than wardii. Our wardii is rather bud-tender, whereas the croceum form has proved hardy in every respect in the twenty odd years we have grown it. We have a note that wardii color is Sulphur Yellow 1/2, and speaking from memory only, I should say the "croceum" is Canary Yellow 2/1 or 2/2.
Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to strike, and also makes remarkably little pollen. Unless the seed is the result of bagging and selfing, it can be assumed almost with certainty that the seedlings will be hybrids. To add to one's troubles, the result of selfing is frequently nil. We are now waiting patiently to see the first selfed seedlings flower, but the time is not yet!
R. chlorops, described by Dr. J. Macqueen Cowan elsewhere, is referred to in his "George Forrest, Journeys and Plant Introductions" as follows:
"One of the most outstanding plants in this series (Fortunei) for which we are indebted to Forrest, has been regarded as a fine form of R. decorum with a yellow eye, but it is worthy of a distinctive name and has recently been described as R. chlorops."
We have as yet un-flowered seedlings of chlorops, and at this time it can not be distinguished from decorum. However we should know more about them shortly as there are one or two buds-we hope.