John Fielding, MPG member, had a new Digitalis offspring at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Digitalis x valinii ‘Firebird’ (left). This foxglove won second place in Chelsea Plant of the Year and is a hybrid of Digitalis purpurea and D. canariensis. It is a very attractive apricot colour with an upright habit, multiple stems per plant and is hardy down to -5C. Our congratulations to John.
Photo: Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants
The Red Palm Weevil
Many members will have seen the devastating effect of palm trees dying as a result of a palm beetle infestation. The beetle (actually a weevil), Rhincophorusferruugineus, lays its eggs in the crown of the palm and the resultant grubs munch their way into the heart of the tree causing leaves to droop and die off one by one. Preventative measures are currently the best way to try to ensure that your palms, especially Phoenix canariensis, which are particularly susceptible, do not succumb to this dreaded insect. View our ‘The Red Palm Weevil‘ page for more information and advice.
Alstroemeria – A Chilean wonder
Those members who were at the Winter Meeting 2018 will remember Christine Daniels talking about the fascinating article, which appears on the Mediterranean Gardening France website, written by MPG member Dr Eduardo Olate focussing on Alstroemeria, a genus native to South America including Eduardo’s home country, Chile. View the article on the mediterraneangardeningfrance.org website for more information.
Member’s trip to Ascension Island and St Helena
Shelley O’Berg completed an RHS Diploma Level 4 in Horticultural Practice in summer 2017 and left Wisley bound for Ascension Island. There she studied the endemic flora and feels she’s really benefitted from seeing plants in their natural environment. You can read her report on the visit, on which she also stopped at St Helena.
Endemic newly identified in Crete
A rare and vulnerable Cretan endemic has been named Bellevalia Juliana for MPG member Julia Jones. She found it one wet, blustery March morning ten years ago when walking in the hills around her home in Pano Elounda, Crete. It has been researched by Pepi Bareka, Nick Turland and Georgia Kamari who published their findings in July 2015. It is in the family Asparagaceae and from DNA testing has been proved a new species for east Crete. Julia describes it as unassuming but beautiful and says she is so grateful to the botanists who worked to get this new endemic recognised and is still slightly overwhelmed that they named it for her. Bellevalia Juliana image courtesy of Steve Lenton.