Yoshino Cherry ‘Ivensii’

Stumbled over a beautiful Cheery Tree at Westonbirt Arboretum (Gloucesteshire) and noticed this label:

2016-06-24 16.43.37

On checking the net later, it turns out this tree, which is described as ‘highly desirable weeping tree which features a pendulous framework that is covered in pure white flowers in early spring….. This tree is a great asset to the smaller garden’.

So where does ‘Ivensii’ emanate from?

“Trying to delve into the origins of flowering cherries of the Japanese types was far more complex than I expected so I will keep it simple and say that this is a hybrid, sometimes known as the ‘Yoshino Cherry’. This particular variety was named at the UK’s famed Hillier Nurseries because of its weeping habit and wonderful tortuous branches….”   The Jury Garden

“According to Wilson, the origin of this cherry is doubtful. It is planted abundantly in Tokyo and Yokohama, where it is known as the ‘Yoshino Cherry’, but has not yet been found wild. It may be a hybrid between P. speciosa and P. subhirtella. Wilson describes it as ‘remarkably distinct from all other Japanese or Chinese cherries and one of the most floriferous and beautiful of them’. It is perfectly hardy and grows vigorously, attaining a spread of about 40 ft. A.G.M. 1930.

About 1910 it was obtained from Germany and was grown as “P. paracerasus” at Kew, but was rare until the late 1920s, when large numbers were imported or raised in this country. It varies in the amount of pubescence on the undersurface of the leaf; sometimes the midrib and veins are densely covered with tawny down. In regard to habit, too, some trees are more erect and less spreading than others. If the tree is truly of hybrid origin, the fact that some of the stock now in nurseries has been raised from seed might account for this diversity.”  The online edition of W. J. Bean’s Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

But no sign of the origin of the cultavar ‘Ivensii’.

Then I came across this: “Twenty one specimens of the poorly-known skink Mabuya ivensii Bocage 1879, collected from northwestern Zambia and adjacent Zaire, represent the first records of the species from these countries”.

So, might it come from Roberto Ivens, the Portuguese explorer? or is there another Ivens out there in the world of natural science?





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