Sunday, 25 April 2010

Elizabethan Stockings?

These are my Hose in Hose Primulas, which are really just starting to go over, but I thought I would post a couple of pics as they are fairly unusual, and very garden worthy. They are called Hose in Hose, because of a mutation which causes the calyx of the flower to form itself into a second set of petals, so that you have one flower appearing to grow out of another. You can see how ancient the variety is since the name came from the Elizabethan gentleman's habit of wearing two pairs of stockings one over the other, with the outer one folded over, ie hose in hose. The variety was first mentioned in John Gerard's Herbal in 1597 and although it used to be common in gardens it has faded from availability for some reason. It's a good strong grower, and is easily divided to form a large clump giving a lovely display in March and April. Here's a picture showing how the flowers grow one inside the other.

Sorry about the dirty gardener's hands.


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