|Auricula 'Averil Hunter'
I have imposters in my greenhouse ... plants that are in there, being nurtured under false pretences !
Like cuckoos in the nest, they are not what they should be !
I thought they were Auriculas ... nope !! So what ARE they ? I hope someone can identify them for me ...
Now, I have come late to Auriculas, and it has taken me more than 50 years to appreciate them in all their stiff loveliness. I first saw them on the stall of the National Auricula Society in Gateshead, in Spring of this year, and I fell in love, buying as many as I could carry.
Within weeks, a couple of the babies I had bought began to bud and then to flower.
I like Auriculas and I also like bargains, so I started hunting for them online. There were lots of them, grown by loving enthusiasts and the plants were cheap enough, but the postage was RIDICULOUS !
Ever parsimonious, I decided to buy Auricula seed instead and bought a packet from a specialist amateur grower who showed his plants. Said seeds duly arrived from Ebay and I planted them according to the good, detailed instructions. I had expected slow growth for some reason, and quite demanding seedlings.
They grew extremely vigorously... and bushy ... and quite large...
I kept tending and feeding my growing cuckoos with nagging doubts. The plants I was growing did not resemble my mature Auriculas in any way ! Their leaves were quite fleshy and thick, not thin, long and dark green like my seedlings. The leaves were a different shape, colour, texture and growth pattern! Hmm!
|who knows ?
I told myself that the immature plants may look different, initially, to my mature Auriculas, but nothing changed as they grew larger.
When I introduced 'My Auriculas' to a knowledgeable friend she looked at me in a rather pitying way, and pointed out what I knew in my heart to be true...
Those plants are not Auriculas...
These are Auriculus :
and these ...
I am sure the seeds were sent in error, and that someone else is shaking their heads over a healthy crop of Auriculas they were not expecting. This seed swap was not intentional, and was due, I am sure, to good old human error. As I have made my own share of mistakes in the past (particularly where the garden is concerned!) so surely I can forgive and forget.
But, how could it take me so long to realise the error ?
And, more to the point ... what are they ??
Any ideas please ? I did wonder if they are Sweet Williams, but not too sure about that !
I would love to know what my cuckoos really are ...