QBARS - v17n2 Cover

by Rudolph Henny

R. elliottii as illustrated on the cover of the April bulletin is one of the fine flowered species whose many hybrid offspring never have rivaled or equaled the parent plant. About twenty years ago this species was brought into the Northwest from nurseries in England, though I had heard of plants in California some years before. These first introductions were the type color i.e. lilac rose with dark nectar pouches at the base, and considerable spotting on the upper lobes that sometimes extended entirely around the inside of the corolla. I thought these blooms very attractive since they were of good size almost twenty in number and carried in a fine truss. It was regrettable that these lilac colored plants proved tender for all disappeared in the great freeze of 1950, I have never seen or even heard of this type being reintroduced here in the ensuing years. About 1950 the fine red forms were first observed. The late Del James had a particularly good clonal form 'Warpaint' raised from seed of R. elliottii (K. W. 7725) that he obtained from Colonel Bolitho. He mentioned on occasion that he always won a prize with it whenever shown at the Society Shows. The plant at best was a cool house subject though it did remain outdoors during several mild winters.  George Grace also had fine forms of the red and also the lilac types, and I think they were both lost in the greenhouse in 1950. In 1949 Kingdon Ward sent seeds from Assam of R. elliottii (K. W.19083) to a number of members in the northwest. These plants have been as fine as his previous introduction R. elliottii (K. W. 7725) but have in some instances shown more hardiness. Clonal forms of these apparently hardier types should be asexually propagated. R. elliottii has a sprawling, open type of growth habit, and should be considered a woodland type plant. In such a location it can be very effective during the early days of May. The characteristic loose growth habit of R. elliottii is passed on to all its hybrids, and most are very open and irregular in habit, but the bloom in most instances is attractive, and often heavily spotted.  The color transparency was loaned to the Society by Dr. Carl Phetteplace and is of a plant growing in his woodland garden. This plant originated at Exbury some ten years ago, but was not designated as a clonal or award variety.