From A to Zee - From A to ZedThursday, July 23, 2020
|Hosta 'Abba Dabba Doo' & Rosa 'Zephirine Druhin' 23 July 2020|
Perhaps the one action that makes us human and may differentiate us from the “lower” orders is that we have an urge to name things, animals and fellow humans. It is as close as we can to play God.
This is particular the case in the world of living things as put in modern order by Linnaeus.
In botany plants have been classified and then named by all kinds of rules that are in effect. But these rules do not prevent humans from feeling romantic, philosophic, humorous or whimsical in naming plants, particularly when they are hybridizers or plant hunters.
Until recently the names of plants usually were the names of people who may have first found these plants in the wild. An example would be Hosta fortunei named after plant finder Robert Fortune (he who smuggled Chinese tea plants, Camellia sinensis out of China into India and the rest is history). When these plants were grown in nurseries, some of them were named after wives, offspring, musicians or actors (and actresses) of fame. Sometimes like in Rosa ‘Julia Child’ fame was accrued to a cook (chef?).
In the hosta world many of the named cultivars are romantic or poetic. Consider Hosta ‘August Moon’. But I the late 90s one man, Tony Avent successfully broke that mould. He began by demystifying plant hybridization by saying that he could do this while sitting on his truck eating a MacDonald’s hamburger. He then introduced hostas with names like ‘Elvis Lives’, ‘Bubba’(having a short and red neck) and then proceeded to make sure his hosta would be the first in any hosta catalogue by calling one ‘Abba Dabba Doo’.
He may not have been as original as he thought he was. In my garden I have Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’. It is a lovely rose with no thorns and, yes, the first one in most rose catalogues particularly if they list Old Roses or Bourbon Roses.
'Zephirine Drouhin' or 'Zéphirine Drouhin' is a Bourbon rose, noted for being thornless, created in 1868 by the French rose grower Bizot, supposed to have been named after the wife of a rose enthusiast from Semur-en-Auxois (Côte-d'Or).
|Rosa 'Zephirine Druhin' & Hosta fortunei 'Albopicta' 22 June 2020|
When I say the rose in bloom today I could not resist! The hosta leaf may not look like Abba Dabba Doo because in our deck garden it gets little sun.