Register of Hebe Cultivars
L. J. Metcalf, 232 pages,
Review by Bob Edwards
Reproduced with his permission from
Commercial Horticulture, July 2001, pages 50-51.
The first Hebe
cultivar register, a 15-year of labour of love and painstaking research
by native plantsman Lawrie Metcalf, is an extremely valuable reference
to over 800 cultivars produced from the 100 or so species, mostly
endemic to New Zealand.
It is not complete, says
Lawrie, noting the first species to be described was Hebe magellanica
(South America) and that many hybrids and selections may have existed
in France but have yet to be unearthed and he suspects a revision
may be necessary in the future.
He welcomes additional
information and can be contacted at Greenwood, 179 Westdale Rd,
RD1, Richmond, Nelson.
The 232-page book also
contains two general chapters: Hebe: Origins and Evolution
by Professor Phil Garnock-Jones (Victoria University, Wellington),
a useful modern background to the genus; and A History of Hebe
as a Garden Plant by Dr Peter Heenan (Landcare Research, Lincoln),
a thoroughly researched guide to 150 years of Hebe gardening
and trade history.
Both have excellent references
that will be invaluable for students undertaking further work.
indexes and cultivar descriptions
Over 135 pages of cultivars
and hybrids are listed together with their origins, descriptions
(where available), references to journals, catalogues, indexes,
papers where these have been found, synonyms, incorrect and invalid
names, and in many cases additional notes and interpretation by
the genera's International Registrar, the author.
A separate alphabetical
listing with cross references will assist readers through the maze
and the 16 colour photos will make identification of some modern
The final chapter, a
4-page Heliohebe list, is a bonus.
To those who tinker with
names we suggest you read the entry for Hebe Eveline (introduced
c.1893) and the headache this has caused. It has also been listed
as Evelyn, Gauntlettii, Evalina, Gauntlette, speciosa Pink, Pink
Payne, Rainers Beauty, Pink Lord, speciosa Gauntlettii, Pink and
Pink Pearl. Emerald Gem and others have suffered a similar fate.
To those who select,
breed and release new Hebe cultivars: have them described
properly, registered and written up to make the Registrar's job
easier and ensure correct, detailed information is published quickly.
Growers and retailers
will find this Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture publication
a valuable reference. It is the start to getting the correct cultivar
names in circulation once and for all and a major effort is needed
as the muddle existing in the trade and in gardens is considerable.
Spelling also needs to
be tidied. Hebe Margret is often written incorrectly as
Margaret. The Registrar has not accepted the name Mary Antoinette
for the blue hebe released by Annton Nurseries (Cambridge) as it's
too similar to Marie Antoinette, a variety written up in The Floral
World and Garden Guide in 1874, 112 years earlier.
The number of lost cultivars
and hybrids is of major concern.
As there is no repository
for Hebe cultivars and hybrids and as many of the hybrids
now in circulation here and overseas are likely to go out of production
due to rapidly changing trends and fashions, a pictorial reference
is now urgent.
The International Register
of Hebe Cultivars is an impressive work, a must for everyone
interested in the genus and an excellent companion to Douglas Chalk's
Hebes and Parahebes, Lawrie's bibles and Flora of New Zealand volumes
that contain additional information. Highly recommended.
Available from The
Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
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