Today’s lockdown images have been sitting around for a couple of weeks waiting for their day in the sun. So, as lockdown eases, let’s have a look at this pretty pair.
1 Saxifraga callosa
This is an alpine saxifrage in the silver, or encrusted, group, so called because of the deposits of lime that line the leaves. S. callosa comes from the north of Italy and the adjoining mountains to the west. Saxifraga means ‘rock breaker’, and callosa means ‘thick-skinned, with calluses’, presumably a reference to the leathery leaves and those attractive heavy lime deposits.
This came without a name, but is probably Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’, a vigorous and popular variety which has an AGM.
The generic name Allium is the Latin word for ‘garlic’, and the type species for the genus is Allium sativus, the garlic you buy at the greengrocer.
This species is native to Iran and Kyrgyzstan. Presumably its specific name, hollandicum, is because it has been so much bred and hybridized in Holland. Common names are Persian Garlic and Dutch garlic, so take your choice.
Whatever their names, they are very garden-worthy.
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