R. 'Albion Ridge' - A Double Winner
Francis W. Mosher, Jr., Woodacre, California
It happened once, and it may not ever happen again. At the same time and on the same day three hundred miles apart two sets of show judges decided "Albion Ridge" was the best truss in the show. The date was May 6, 1978.
Floyd Cogburn, Fort Bragg, and Eleanor S. Mosher, of Mill Valley and Woodacre, unknown to each other, picked and entered trusses at the 1978 Fort Bragg and De Anza chapter shows.
While on duty as a California state game warden, James R. Drewry of Fort Bragg found a frilled white form of R. macrophyllum on the Albion Ridge acreage of Irene and Weaver Kitchen in the late fifties. With their permission, he collected a number of layered plants.
Ten of them were grafted onto R. fortunei stock. The original discovery shrub is still growing on Albion Ridge. Jim Drewry died in 1965 and his widow, Mrs. Eleanor Philp, continued growing the grafted white form. Eugene R. German, of Fort Bragg, registered and named it 'Albion Ridge'. He declares that grafting wild R. macrophyllum plants is preferable to rooting cuttings since they are subject to root rot. 'Albion Ridge' blooms in Northern California from late April to early June and has proved hardy to 12 degrees F
While other alba forms of R. macrophyllum have been found and propagated, Mrs. Philp reports that she never has seen any to match 'Albion Ridge'.
Other varieties growing in Oregon gardens are listed by the Portland A.R.S. chapter Garden Committee either as being featured in the Crystal Springs test garden or being grown for it - Bandon White (Magness); Barto White x Bovee White (Stavney), and Clackamas White (Stewart).
Comment from the Portland chapter November 1978 newsletter is helpful: "In the wild ( R. macrophyllum ) is nearly indestructible, thriving on poor sites and recovering quickly after being burned to the ground in forest fires. In cultivation it is unpredictable. Sometimes it does well with little care. Other times it suddenly expires for no evident reason. Early plantings in the Crystal Springs garden failed. So renewed efforts are being made to assemble a collection of clones in the Portland chapter garden and to learn how to grow and propagate them. Propagation by cuttings is reported to be difficult. The Jewetts and Stewarts have been successful with late cuttings. Ultimately we hope to have plants of selected forms available for general distribution."