Geranium nodosum ‘Silverwood’ purchased last summer when I visited Rachel Etheridge’s National Collection in Weardale and doing well in my sunny dry garden.
Later in the year when I was reviewing the plant list submitted by Joan Taylor in her application for NC status, I noticed this name and that Joan had introduced this cultivar. As we are always looking for personal stories relating to collections we contacted Joan and asked her for some information and an image to use in our 2012 membership leaflet.
Joan responded with the following;
I found Silverwood as a very small plant growing in the garden of a house in Herefordshire when visiting friends who had moved there. I grew the plant for several years and was delighted to see that it had white flowers…..not previously reported in the nodosum group. I ran a small nursery (Birchwood Plants) and decided to name and sell the plant as it performed so well in shade, giving all the proceeds from sales to the Motor Neurone Disease Association as my husband had died from the disease in 2002. Sales have raised in excess of £1500 for the association.
I was interested to see if and when ‘Silverwood’ had been registered and contacted the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA), David Victor, who sent me the following information.
It was registered by a lady called Joan Taylor in memory of her late husband on behalf of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. It was described as
“..forming a slowly spreading clump, 20-30 cm in height, with light green foliage, glossy when young. The erect, funnel-shaped flowers are white, 2.5-3.0 cm in diameter, with notched petals and silvery-grey veins. The anthers are white and the style light green. The petals show the faintest hint of pink when they first appear as buds. Flowering continues throughout the summer in part or total shade. Comes reasonably true from seed if isolated from other colour forms, rogue plants having red pigmentation at base and more vigourous growth.”
The cultivar was first published by Birchwood Plants in their catalogue in 2003, as far as I know. They still offer it with all income going to the Association.
The online RHS Plant Finder lists it with reference to a standard herbarium specimen which I was able to see thanks to the staff in the Botany department at Wisley.
They also sent me an image of the specimen which is part of their records of this cultivar.
Researching the history has added to the interest of this acquisition and I can see how Collection Holders become fascinated by the back-stories of their plants. If you fancy getting your own ‘Silverwood’ then Rachel is holding Open Days on Sat & Sun 23rd & 24th June 2012, 11am-5pm, with plants from the collection for sale. Or go back to the original source at Birchwood Plants who are open for collection of orders by appointment.