This week’s lost fuchsia is ‘Royal Standard‘, which was introduced in 1877 and we are hoping that our fuchsia detectives will help us to find more information about this historic cultivar.
Description: Current Status: Believed lost to cultivation Year of Introduction: 1877 Flower Type: Single Tube Colour: Bright Red Sepals Colour: Bright Red Corolla Colour: Plum Purple Foliage Colour: Green
Additional Clues on where this cultivar has previously been listed to help our detectives:
B. S. Williams Catalogue, 1878
H. Cannell Catalogue, 1882 ‘Fine strong growing plant, one of the best for large plants’
Laings Catalogue, 1890
Gardeners Chronicle, 1877
The Floral Magazine, 1877
Gardeners Oracle ‘Selection’, 1880-1881
We are hoping that our fuchsia detectives will find some information about this historic cultivar, through historical resources, such as the ‘Gardeners’ Chronicle‘ and nursery catalogues, if any of our detectives are living in Europe they could consult their own country’s historical journals, as we know James Lye’s fuchsias have appeared in German publications such as ‘Garten Zeitung‘.
Any information you can share with us (however small) will help us and other fuchsia detectives in the search.
If the signs of improvement in the Fuchsia are less marked than they were twenty years ago, it is because the average standard of excellence is high, and advances are less striking than they were before the quality of the flower was so much improved. But as there is no limit to the progress florists can make, and as there is an infinite variety of form and colour, it is well that florists are still found at work seeking to realize more advanced standards.
The new varieties now figured were rasised by Mr. James Lye, of Market Lavington, Wilts, and have recieved high awards at the leading exhibitions in the West of England. Mrs. Hooper Taylor (fig.1) is a charming light variety, with stout well-formed tube and sepals, and a pleasing pink corolla. Mr. Hooper Taylor (fig. 2) is a dark variety of the finest quality, with rich coral-red tube and sepals, and magenta-purple corolla. Fairy Queen (fig. 3) is a very novel and distinct variety, with white tube and sepals, and magenta-pink corolla. The habit growth in each case is all that could be desired, and we are confident these new varieties will be in demand for exhibition and decorative purposes.
If perfection may be said to have been attained in the case of the Fuchsia, it is applicable to the variety now figured. Raised by Mr. J. Lye, of Clyffe Hall Gardens, Market Lavington – the foremost exhibitor of Fuchsias in the West of England, and a most successful raiser – it has been warmly welcomed by the cultivators of Fuchias in that part of the country, and awarded a First-class Certificate of Merit. Flowers of this fine variety were sent during last summer to the leading garden papers, and their quality described in glowing terms.
The habit of growth is all that could be desired in a decorative Fuchsia; in its robust. without inclining to coarseness; it is of a free and symmetrical character, and the finely-formed blossoms are produced with remarkable freedom. The flowers are of fine shape, long, and borne in elegant clusters; tube and sepals waxy-white; the corolla rich deep rose, with a slight Picotee margin of lively pink. It is a variety that, by reason of its great merits, must supersede many of the light varieties now cultivated. The stock of it is in the hands of Mr. Lye, by whom it will, in all probability, be distributed in March or April.
This is a very fine exhibition and decorative variety, raised by Mr. James Lye, Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington, Wilts, and distributed by him last spring. Our illustration is from a spray plucked fram a plant of good size, which displayed to the greatest advantage the handsome leafage and symmetrical growth of the variety, its great freedom of bloom, the elegant outline of the plant, and the fine individual character of the flowers. The tube and sepals are of a deep red, very broad, stout, and finely formed; the corolla, which is of the finest form and very massive, as well as handsomely rounded, is of a plum-purple colour.
Mr. Lye has been turning his attention to raising new varieties of the Fuchsia that should possess all the qualities desirable in exhibition and decorative plants. As exhibition varieties his new forms are particularly worthy of notice, and we can heartily commend them to the attention of our readers.
Image taken from: The Floral Magazine, 1879. Plate 371.
A full belief is the decorative value and high-class merit of the new Fuchsias raised by Mr. James Lye, Clyffe Hall Gardens, Market Lavington, induces us to give another illustration of some of the leading varieties he has produced. Fuchsias have many uses, but the two leading methods in which they are utilized are as exhibition and decorative plants. By some means or the other Fuchsias have gone back as exhibition subjects, they are not nearly so well grown for show purposes as they used to be; and one reason assigned by cultivators is, that the varieties put into the market are generally ill-adapted for show purposes. The Statement find some amount of confirmation in the fact, that old sorts, such as Maid of Kent, Arabella, Venus de Medici, etc., are still met with at Flower Shows. A Fuchsia that is valuable as a decorative plant, is almost certain to shine on the exhibition stage, and these new varieties obtained by Mr. Lye will be found to answer both purposes admirably. Gem of the West (fig. 1) has a bright coral red tube and sepals, and a dark plum-coloured corolla; Elegance (fig. 2) has tube and sepals of a bright red, with a light purple blue corolla; and Blushing Bride (fig. 3) is an improvement on Lustre, the tube and sepals delicate flesh, with dark pinkish carmine corolla shaded with violet. They will please all who are induced to cultivate them.
Image and text taken From: The Floral Magazine, 1878. Plate 291.
The group of new varieties of Fuchsias forming this plate are part of a batch of fine seedlings raised by Mr. James Lye, gardener to the Hon. Mrs. Hay, Cliffe Hall, Market Lavington, Wilts. Mr. Lye is a well known in the West of England as an exhibitor and cultivator of Fuchsias, and the specimen plants he is in the habit of exhibiting at Flower Shows at Bath, Trowbridge, Chippenham, Calne, and at other places are remarkable for their splendid size, superb growth, and wonderful floriferousness. It is worthy of note that while the cultivation of the Fuchsia as an exhibition plant has declined in many parts of the country, it has reached a stage of high development in Wiltshire. In no other part of the country can such specimens be seen.
In the course of cultivating Fuchsias for show purposes, Mr. Lye found that many fine varieties were unfitted by their habit of growth and sparseness of bloom as exhibition plants, and this led him to turn his attention to the raising of seedlings fitted for show and decorative purposes. His latest batch of seedlings answer these ends in such a remarkable degree as to justify their being figured. Mr. Huntley (No. 1) has red tube and sepals, and dark violet-purple corolla; flowers large, bold, and of the finest form. Letty Lye (No. 2) is a charming light variety with delicate, flesh-coloured tube and sepals, and deep carmine corolla tinted with purple. Mrs. Huntley (No. 3) has a white tube and delicate flesh-coloured sepals, large brilliant carmine corolla, very stout and of excellent form. Royal Standard has coral red tube and sepals, and a pale plum purple corolla; the flowers of the best form and substance. Mr. Lye is to be congratulated on having raised such as fine lot of seedlings.