A White R. calophytum
Cecil Smith, Aurora, Oregon
White R. calophytum
Photo by Cecil Smith
This plant was given to me by Mrs. A. C. U. Berry about twenty years ago and was perhaps ten years old at that time. It was taken from a group of twenty or thirty which Mrs. Berry had raised from seed. I understand that most of her plants were grown from seed collected in their native habit. Some of the leaves attain a length of sixteen inches. The trusses on this plant are more upright than those on most clones of this species. The corollas have the typical deep purple flare. The main part of the flower opens white, while the flowers of the other three plants in our garden open from various shades of pale pink to pale lavender, as do most of those elsewhere that I have observed. A calophytum in the garden of Mrs. Rudolph Henny has blooms with quite red pedicels and is very attractive. Like the corollas in the Falconeri and Grande Series, those of calophytum grow larger for several days after becoming fully opened.
In the late spring when the leaves expand upright with a passing flaky, silver indumentum, they are especially attractive. Later, the mature heads of leaves form huge funnels until cold weather, when they relax and point down at about a forty-five degree angle. In freezing weather they curl up tight, and the simple sturdy branching habit is displayed. I can think of no other plant with such dramatic changes in appearance, as the seasons of the year pass.