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Author Topic: A New Ipheion ?  (Read 1808 times)


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A New Ipheion ?
« on: December 07, 2015, 02:31:23 PM »
                                                         IPHEION UNIFLORUM 'BOB HOPE'
    My Father was born in Eltham in 1920, in those days it was situated in North Kent but decades later it was swallowed by the Greater London sprawl. Five years earlier Frankie Howerd was born a short distance away to munitions workers but in 1903 there was an even more famous birth in the town, that of entertainer Bob Hope.
    I sometimes went back to look around and visit various places. On one such visit I noticed a colony of Ipheion uniflorum, the common pale coloured form, growing in a garden. Amongst the clump I noticed that a number were mutating, either by flower shape or colour, sometimes both. A while later during another visit, I saw some seed had formed, so I offered to exchange some plants for the pods when they were ripe. The offer was accepted and I managed to get enough seed to fill a 5” pot quite comfortably.
    The seedlings were grown on for a few years and one seemed worthy of further investigation. The flowers first opened in a claw like fashion with the reverse of the petals having a wine red colour. The red changes in shade as the flower ages and the petals widen to resemble a normal Ipheion uniflorum. At first the flowers are white but then they start to change into a blue, similar to the well known ‘Wisley Blue’. The colour of the petal reverse would indicate further breeding should be carried out with the intention of transferring the red pigmentation to the front. After some years of experimenting, I’ve decided that plants kept in a pot or pan show the best colour over garden grown versions.  Taken into the Alpine or Green House when the buds are just breaking ensures that a good show is obtained. Grown outside ‘Bob Hope’ is quite hardy here in the windswept Fens and no doubt will survive easily in most parts of the UK.
    When the original plants were spotted, they were not too far from what was the Eltham Little Theatre. During the 1980’s Bob Hope heard of the financial plight of the Eltham Little Theatre while partaking in a golf tournament in the UK. He came to the Theatre’s aid and raised enough money  to save the day. As a gesture of gratitude, the theatre was renamed “The Bob Hope Theatre”.
    Found so close to the theatre, Ipheion ‘Bob Hope’ seemed the obvious name. I will take more photos this season as I cannot find the one showing the final change to blue.
    Regarding the correct genus, I consulted “The Plant List” for guidance regarding the current accepted name. Neither Ipheion or Tristagma was given as a synonym and both were stated as being accepted. (Triteleia uniflora Lindl.is given as a synonym for Tristagma uniflorum, I would have thought Ipheion uniflorum would be a synonym too under the circumstances. I’m more confused now than ever, now.
(Also, Ipheion ‘Rolf Fiedler’ now seems to be considered, by some, as a form of the species I. peregrinans as it obviously isn’t I.uniflorum. The Plant List only mentions the species peregrinans under Tristagma, totally ignoring Ipheion as a synonym. Tristagma peregrinans ‘Rolf Fiedler’ isn’t quite so easy to pronounce).
Check out plant names at :-    http://www.theplantlist.org/

Sutton Bridge in The Fens


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