|Even Abel's portrait |
During their short stay, Dr. Abel had managed to collect samples of the yet unnamed Abelia, in Ta-Koo-Tang, south west of Shanghai. Fortunately for Abel, a small sampling of the material was left with a colleague in Canton, which proved fortunate as trouble was ahead. It started when the ship he was traveling on, run a ground on uncharted reefs off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. In an effort to stay afloat, a seaman jettisoned the cargo, which included his collection. The day after, they returned to the site of the wreck on a smaller boat in an effort to salvage the plants, but were attacked by pirates who were looting the site and suffered capture. Dr. Abel did finally make it back to England and eventually, the small collection that Abel had left in Canton, was returned in safely in 1844 also (18 years after Abel's death). Abel published his adventures in a book called; Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China. in 1818. Though not plant related, he also mentioned recording the first Sumatran Orangutan, also named in his honor, as well as having an audience with Napoleon Bonaparte whilst in exile on St. Helena. Call me a geek, but I love reading how historic events crisscrosses with one another.
|Abelia 'Rose Creek' with Solidago 'Fireworks'|
Proven Winners, also have released there own form, 'Ruby Anniversary', a new colored form. The dark glossy foliage has a ruby red hue as both new growth and fall color are produced. Last year was the first time I brought this in to the garden center and was blown away by its performance and the speed it sold out, both at the growers and in the store .
|Photo credit - Proven Winners, Abelia 'Ruby Anniversary'|
Like all Abelia's, the Chinese Abelia is heat and humidity tolerant, pest free and deer resistant. Once established their watering needs are minimal and can be left to put on a show with little or no interference. Modest, yet free from arrogance, unlike the person connected to its history, this Abelia will certainly be a pleasure in any garden. The best part, you don't have to travel to China, its already here!
|Abelia 'Canyons Creek'|