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Mike's Blog - Day 61

These is a really nice Rhododendron in the woodland garden, referred to us simply the “Yellow Rhody”. It's right next to Fothergilla major (Day 55), which I can confirm does have a delicate scent like a faint Hyacinth.

...and a close-up.

The reason is whoever named it was on a roll, so if you thought you were starting to get a feel for plant Latin names you might want to think again.

Rhododendron cinnabarinum sub sp xanthocodon concatenans KW5874

The number is a collectors number. These are given to plants on expeditions until names, or new discoveries, can be verified later. The initials are for Kingdon-Ward (Frank Kingdon-Ward, 1885 to 1958), a well-known plant collector. Often new discoveries are named after people, so it must have been a fantastic time to be exploring and claiming new discoveries and bringing them home.

Kingdon-Ward is reputed to be the first person to bring viable seed of the Blue Poppy back to England, Meconopsis betonicifolia. His expeditions were not without danger, he was impaled by bamboo, fell off a cliff, lost without food for days, in the epicentre of a big earthquake  and his tent crushed by a tree. He must have got very familiar with exploring, so much so he served as a spy for the British India Office from 1930.

Read more about him if you wish here: