Sunday, April 18, 2010

Great Expectations

Sanguinaria canadensis 'Armstrongs Pink'

Sanguinaria canadensis

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex

A few years ago my order from Fraser's Thimble Farm included Sanguinaria canadensis 'Armstong's Pink'. It was described as having "Soft pink buds opening to soft pink flowers that fade to white. Burgundy tinted foliage." I had high expectations of this acquisition, I had seen pink Bloodroot before at an ORg&HPS meeting when a large clump of pink, double Sanguinaria was auctioned off ( unfortunately not to me). I've not seen this plant since and Mr Armstrong's selection sounded like it might be equally choice. But the following year, disappointment. "Really Mr. Armstrong" I said to myself, "you call this pink, and this foliage burgundy tinted, I don't think so".
Last Autumn I moved the plant to another site and perhaps because it was now in more shade, but more likely because I had lowered my expectations, it surprised me. Why hadn't I noticed the darker, purple tinted foliage? And the flowers were certainly a lovely pink in bud and opened to a very distinct lily shape. I can just imagine a graph showing the highs and lows of my enthusiasm for this plant, it would look like a mountain followed valley followed by montain.


Is the Wiz said...

What a little gem. I have the double white form and was struggling to remember its name. Cheers!

Edith Hope said...

Dear Barry, Is not this true of so many things in life? Keep one's expectations low and one will be amazed. Raise them and, inevitably, disappointment will follow.

But, how I love all the Sanguinarias you have shown in this posting. My own favourite will always be the double white but 'Armstrong's Pink' is a blushing beauty.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Is,
Multiplex sounds like a condominium doesn't it?

Barry Parker said...

Dear Edith,
I love all the Sanguinarias too, but now I have to know who is Mr Armstrong exactly.

Barry said...

Mr. Armstrong has definitely intrigued me..... Just received my shipment from Thimble Farms.... the family grows!

Barry Parker said...

Hi Teza,

It is that crazy plant buying season isn't it? I'm trying to be very disciplined with three big plant sales coming up in this area starting on the 2nd May with the ORGS sale, then the TBG sale and finally my own local Hort Soc. But also, like you I have mail orders coming my way.