Archive entry 09.01.11
Archive entry 27.12.15
9th January 2011
Galanthus 'Atkinsii' is a magnificent and vigorous snowdrop, well worth growing
in any collection. It was found by James Atkins and distributed to a few growers from
his garden in Painswick during the 1860's. It is assumed to have come from southern Italy originally
but some reports say he found it growing in Painswick churchyard. There was a great enthusiasm at
the time for growing these larger Italian snowdrops under the name 'Imperati' and great numbers of
them were being imported, so either (or both) versions of the story could be true.
S.Arnott writing in the 'Gardeners Chronicle' of March 3rd 1917 says:
" It came originally from the garden
of Mr. Atkins of Painswick. Another fine snowdrop was later sent out under the name Atkinsii in error.
This one is tall and subject to a curious petaloid malformation, apparently a tendancy towards
doubleness, as an additional petal or two are produced. When the flowers are fully open they thus present
a singular appearance. Although the "pseudo Atkinsii' is worth a place in the garden, the true
G. Atkinsii far excels it in beauty of form and general appearance."
And the reason for all this? A few decades ago it became clear that the name 'Atkinsii' covered a multitude
of diverse clones that had been confused for almost as long as the name had existed. As a consequence
the name 'Atkinsii' exploded like a rotten egg in a warm pantry and one section of the stinking slime dripping
down the walls was named 'Lyn'!
At a more prosaic level, it was discovered by Lyn Sales near Cirencester in 1981. It is well
proportioned and early and I expect that it will prove to be vigorous.
(Apologies to Lyn Sales, I could have expressed that in the sort of kind and elegant language it undoubtedly deserves).
22nd January 2012