Any new Saxifrages in Prague? Of course, this traditional Czech exhibition the
first week of April 2009 was full of surprise and hot news!
About 470 plants were arranged and supervised by Dana and David Stádník, who also keeps an excellent Saxifraga collection containing about 700 plants. This couple has taken on the Saxifrage collection after well known Miroslav Kraus for future preservation.As like every early spring show this exhibition is mostly dedicated to genus Saxifraga and Dionysia in additions to some rare specimens of bulbous plants. I find the most exclusive bulbs of the year to be rich blue South American crocus Tecophilaea cyanocrocus from Chile, where it is not already present in nature today and a huge clump of Trillium nivale full covered by 20 white flowers upon greyish leaves.
Prize winning Saxifraga dinnikii ‘Štásek’ from Karel Lang
In good tradition, many different sized cushions of Dionysias were shining from creamy yellow to violet. The best plants awarded for their quality was; creamy yellow with violet crowns Dionysia ‘Sonate’ grown by J. Papoušek and creamy yellow flowerball of Dionysia ‘Monika’ grown by saxifragist Jiří Novák. Yes, Saxifrages, our priority was of course dominant, having the majority in numbers. Karel Lang and Milan Halada exhibited their wild collected Saxifraga akinfievii, natural hybrid of S. dinnikii and S. juniperifolia from Northern Caucasus. Both of these plants are good example of variability in colour of flower and habitus. Even though these plants come from same area. K. Lang grows a violet coloured type, and M. Halada’s plant flowers closely to a yellow colour with narrow petals. Milan Halada introduced another beautiful clone of Saxifrage dinnikii with larger and deep violet flowers. He collected this plant in Caucasian Upper Balkaria on Mt. Sukan Su and it is named Saxifraga dinnikii ‘Štásek’. The plant is in huge rank of Karel Lang. He showed one in full blossom, counting approximately 80 wonderful flower bells with their typical grooved flowers – and he got a prize for it.
Karel Lang has been presenting bunch of other extraordinary nice Saxifrages in full blossom. I am not far from saying ‚Of course‘! but were I to succeed with one of them I would use half a page to describe it. He got prizes for his Saxifrage hybrids; S. ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ (S. kotschyi S. ‘Radvan Horný’), S. ‘Michelangelo’, S. ‘Zlatý Kůň’, and S. dinnikii ‘Šťásek’, even other enthusiasts presented hybrids of his at the show. Like a pink cloud Lang’s S. ‘Květy Coventry‘ appeared on the table. This prize winner was grown by Jiří Novák who also got a prize for S.‘Allendale Harvest’, a compact cushon fully covered by lemon yellow small flowers. The hottest news this season was Karel Lang’s Saxifra a l aeformi s ‘Zlatý Kůň’ (transl. Golden Horse) a new hybrid of Saxifraga marginata var. rocheliana f. balcanica from Makedonia and Saxifraga pseudo-laevis from central Caucasus. He got a first prize and Karel Čapek Cup with full respect. This plant keeps the habit and growth of mother S. marginata and even racemous flowers and its size, but the excellent yellow colour is the benefit of father S.pseudo-laevis. The name Zlatý Kůň (Golden Horse) is inspired by a calcareous natural reservation Zlatý Kůň laying few kilometres from Karel Lang’s garden, in the wonderful landscape of Bohemian Karst. A detailed descriptions and photoportrait was presented in Prague Rock Garden Club Magazine – Skalničky 2/2009 together with other of his new hybrids. These are;
S. ‘Beryl Bland’ (S. stribrnyi x S . columnaris) deep violet-rose flowering S. ‘Zita Marková’
(S. alberti x S. dinnikii) plants forms compact cushion
with huge violet flowers.,
S. ‘Bohemian Paradise’ (S. cinerea x S. columnaris), with a rose-violet
colour and keeping S. cinerea growth form.
S. ‘Golem’ (S. x megaseaeflora ‘Krakatit’ S. lowndesii) grows very
compact, and have deep rose flowers.
S. ‘Paul Cezanne’ (S. kotschyi S. polulacina ‘Kathleen’) best red
Jan Bürgel and his ‘something special‘ was present with a tufa bolder totally covered by sweet rose flowering Saxifraga ‘Laka‘ growing very compact in a population of about 15 plants. This won him a prize. He got another prize for his Saxifraga Swing Group ‘Teide’ totally covered by a white cloud of flowers. Presented was also his beautiful red cultivars ‘Satchmo‘ and ‘Neil Armstrong‘ fully covered by large flowers. Among these classics I saw one of his new hybrids Saxifraga ‘Dr. Watson’ with a huge amount of racemes carrying yellow flowers.
Saxifraga `Dr. Watson’ from Jan Bűrgel Photos: Zdeněk
Supervisor and arrangers of exhibition David Stádník and his wife Dana obtained two prizes for very well grown Saxifraga ×boydii ‘Luteola’ totally overgrowing the pot and Saxifraga ‘Večerní Hvězda’ with enormous number of individual white stem less flowers.
Something else from Prague? Finally, one advice for exhibition visitors – you have to be there in early opening hours before, you’ll get run over by crowd of hungry Saxifraga enthusiasts. Just try it.