Saturday, 27 December 2008

Hedychium gardnerianum

Hedychium gardnerianum Roscoe

6913 Curtis's Botanical Magazine Vol. XLIII of the third series, 1887
Digitised by Mobot

Sent by Dr. Wallich to Calcutta from Nepal, where he had discovered it in the Valley of Katmandoo. Flowered in the Botanic Garden at Liverpool, on the 4 Oct 1820, and produced seeds.

"This is the queen of the genus, both as regards the general aspect, the stature, and the foliage, and the exquisite elegance as well as the fragrance of the ample inflorescence. ... several large patches ... are in bloom at the Horticultural Society's Garden at Chiswick, thriving luxuriantly in a temperate glass-house"

The specific name commemorates one of Dr. Wallich's most zealous contributors of live plants.

"During a number of years in which the Hon. Edward Gardner (son of the late distinguished Admiral Lord Gardner) lived in Nipal, as the Hon. East India Company's Resident at the Court of Katmandu, he contributed greatly to the riches of the Botanic Garden at Calcutta, and through it to the gardens and herbariums of England. It was through his local influence, and afterwards of the late Mr. Robert Stuart's the officiating Resident, that I was permitted to send permenant collecting parties into that country, where they enjoyed his unceasing support and encouragement ; and afterwards to visit it myself during a whole year, which I spent under his friendly roof. Would that the cause of Natural History could boast such Maecenases in India and everywhere else !" Wallich, Kew Journal, vol. v (1853), p. 369

J. D. Hooker also collected Hedychium gardnerianum, but in the Sikkim Himalaya and Khasia Mountains between elevations of 4000-7000 feet.

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