Wednesday, January 02, 2008

ABC Wednesday – X

ABC Wednesday – X

Happy New Year to all! If you are visiting for WW please scroll down to the next post.

X is a tough letter. I decided to use one of the signs that mark the plants at the Estate garden. I tried to get cute with this picture and only get the X in focus. There about 700 of these signs and correspond to about half of the plant species and cultivars. I picked this sign since it has an X in the middle of the name. Without getting too technical (and a bit boring to some I sure) the X stands for a hybrid between two species of the same genera. These are generally natural or wild occurring hybrids and are ‘interspecific’. Hybrids that occur between different genera are more rare and are called ‘intergeneric’. They are usually denoted with the X before the first name, which is often a combination of the two genera. For example the intergeneric hybrid of Ammophila arenaria and Calamagrostis epigeios is known as xAmmocalamagrostis baltica.

This particular plant, Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum', is one of my favorite groundcovers. It got its X from being a hybrid of Epimedium grandiflorum and E. pinnatum subsp. colchicum (subsp. stands for subspecies, naturally occurring geographical variant of a species). This plant has several common names including Bishop’s Hat and Bicolor Barrenwort. It is a handsome plant that spreads well by rhizomes (not invasively) in both sun and moderate shade. The yellow flowers (that’s where the ‘Sulphureum’ comes in) are spurred and the petals, sepals and spurs are different shades of yellow. They bloom early and their bright color is welcome in the spring. Epimediums are getting more and more popular and there are several types that do well in the garden. I rummaged a round for a picture of the flowers but couldn’t find one. I will have to remember to shoot one in the spring.

Many of the Magnolias seem to like to hybridize and this one is Magnolia x Elizabeth. It was the first yellow Magnolia to be widely available and is still considered one of the best yellows. These pictures are from Wave Hill.

Magnolia x Elizabeth (M. acuminata x heptapeta)


For those you not interested in plants here is an X I saw when I was walking my dogs across the street at the school.


Here is the ABC Wednesday Blogroll:

17 comments:

Annie said...

I appreciate the lesson that x in a botanical name means interspecies variety. You give me a little knowledge I will keep and I thank you. Annie

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for clarifying the technical stuff so effectively!

dot said...

An X is an X no matter where you find it! Intersting post and beautiful pictures.

Happyone said...

Yes, X is a hard letter. You did well!

bonnie said...

Hey, that is a LOT of xs. Wow. I love the white one at the end. It's got a graffiti feel to it. Very raw.

Neva said...

This is the reason I love the blogging world...I learn sooo much...I had no idea about the flower specs...very nice....and what zone would the bishops be good for? I am looking for a non invasive ground cover and I am in zone 5. Love the "X" on the playground as well!

Christine said...

I always love your ABC Wednesday posts...I know I'll see beautiful images and learn something. Lovely as always!!! Thanks!

RuneE said...

As always, much useful information on flowers - but all in all I prefer the picture of the very beautiful yellow Magnolia x Elizabeth (M. acuminata x heptapeta)!

The X on the wall is bonus!

KML said...

I learned something new - glad you posted it - not boring at all!

Oswegan said...

Happy X day to you.

~Oswegan

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

I found the Xplanation very interesting - the first paragraph at least - got a bit lost with para2 but fascinating and informative stuff.

mrsnesbitt said...

Ackworth's comment cracked me up! LOL!

Xactly!

Annie in Austin said...

Using the botanical hybrid X was a pretty cool idea, DFP!

I'm trying to catch up after two weeks away - and have realized it's not going to happen....all the garden bloggers post faster than I can read. That's a great photo of the 'Elizabeth' - a magnolia that I admire greatly. The closeup makes me dizzy with plant lust!

Happy New Year from

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mike said...

Happy new year to you. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your great photos over the coming year.

hpy said...

I didn't know about the botanical X but it was most interesting. I love plants and it would be nice to see a picture of that particular x-plant in spring. Groundcovers can be very important on slopes.
And your x-bones are nice too.

Lynette said...

Interesting and informative X post. The yellow magnolia fascinates me. Thank you for the photos.

Max-e said...

Great post. Never thought of x-ing as a post.
Hope you have a wonderful New Year