Earlier this year I gave a cutting of Vallea stipularis to the Rodgersia Queen. This was a plant we had obtained from the gardeners at Exeter University. It is a relatively rare plant in cultivation and an unknown quantity to myself. It comes from the subalpine region of the Andes, is a relative of Crinodendron hookerianum which does well with us and enjoys the same kind of conditions, although it is perhaps a little more tender. Well I had a call this week to say that the cutting was flowering in its new home. Not just a lone bloom but a couple of stalks of potential.
It is not the first time this has happened. A couple of years ago I similarly donated a rooted sprig of Cantua buxifola to said Queen. Later that year I had an excited call to say it was also flowering. Needless to say we are still waiting for mama to show her colours!
Myself and Hero visited the baby, it looked very healthy and was the first time I had seen a vallea flower, delicate pink with a black central boss, very pretty. I rushed back to Cliffe to check our plant with great anticipation. Unfortunately there is no happy end to this tale, there was neither an inkling nor a hint of a bloom.