Sunday, 8 July 2012

Hanabusaya asiatica

Hanabusaya asiatica
I'm particularly chuffed with this one - almost unknown in the UK, this is a very posh Campanula relative with big glossy pale violet bells - reminiscent of C.punctata but not quite as big. The broad foliage is heavily tinged black too. In the wild this species apparently grows in shady rocky places (although details are hard to come by) and would maybe be best in a woodsy raised bed (alongside Strobilanthes nutans perhaps?) but since it's so little known in cultivation I really don't know what it might be capable of. Like many Campanulaceae it is susceptible to slug and snail attack but seems much stronger once planted out. Should be very cold hardy.

A customer, Minsung Kim, recently wrote to me about this plant -
"It is a very special plant to Koreans – it is a legendary and the most loved Korean “Endemic” species-  you can find them only in a couple of Korean mountains (high and cool).  And only one species in that genus.  If you ask any Korean botanists what is the most famous or important Korean wild flowers, everyone will name this one. But ironically and sadly (to our Koreans) this species named after a brutal Japanese governor (Hanabusaya) since it was named during the Japanese occupation over Korea (1910-1945).- and instead of koreana it is asiatica.   So to many Koreans this species is a symbol of  the sad recent Korean history.  It is Geum gang cho rong (diamond hand lantern) in Korean.  Because it was first discovered in the Mountain Diamond (it is in North Korea- known as  the most beautiful mountain in Korea, also geum gang can mean “the best” )-  cho rong is a traditional hand lantern shaped like the hanabusaya flower.  Anyway I was so happy that this species is available in the UK. Probably cool summer in UK is good for them but wet winter might be harmful. I heard that seed germination is quite good but in the wild most of seeds get frozen before they are mature enough."
Hanabusaya asiatica
For a sense of scale

Always in very short supply - please enquire

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