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Cotoneaster dammeri | by wallygrom
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Cotoneaster dammeri

A very prostrate evergreen Cotoneaster, whose long trailing shoots are studded in autumn with bright red berries. It is a first rate ground cover plant, ideal for covering banks and as undercover beneath trees and larger shrubs.

 

It was discovered in China by Ernest Wilson, and introduced to the UK in 1900. AGM 2002.

 

Just out of interest ...

 

Ernest Wilson (1876-1930)

An amateur British botanist in China had alerted Kew to the alarming impact that the charcoal industry was having on the forests of Yunnan province. Concerned, William Thiselton-Dyer at Kew sent a trained botanist, 23-year-old Ernest Henry Wilson, to investigate.

 

‘Of athletic build, and endowed with an indomitable courage and perseverance’, his mission was not only to botanise but also to satisfy the horticultural needs of his financier, the Veitch nursery, for interesting hardy garden plants.

He was to search for one plant in particular, which had been described but never collected. This was the Handkerchief Tree(Davidia involucrata). Following a sketched map and instructions, Wilson located the valley where the tree was last sighted – only to find a stump and a newly erected hut built from its timber! Fortunately he persevered and was later successful.

 

In all, EH ‘Chinese’ Wilson brought us over 1,000 garden plants and around 16,000 herbarium specimens, introducing more plants to Western horticulture than any other collector. His introductions included the Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis), the ‘Wilson 50’ Kurume azaleas, and the magnificent King’s Lily (Lilium regale), the collection of which very nearly cost him his life.

Sinowilsonia henryi from central and western China and many species are named in his honour.

 

Veitch Memorial Medal 1906

Victoria Medal of Honour 1912

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Taken on September 2, 2010