Gandalf’s Ring – 31″, 5″, ML, No fragrance, Dormant, Tetraploid, 5 branches, 36 buds
Feast of Victory x (Lydia’s Cloth x Harold Steen)
In the lore of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, there were three elven rings of power. One was called Narya – the Ring of Fire. This ring was secretly given to Gandalf the Wizard for strength in his battle against Sauron. The flower named for Gandalf’s Ring reminded me of the Ring of Fire with its deep red petal color surrounded by the bright gold edge. While a red flower with a gold edge may not seem unique, several features of this flower make it special. First, the clear and typically unblemished petal color traced back to generations of our breeding for this trait. Second, this is a late season flower – also unique for us as we typically only breed with mid season flowers to make sure we get our seed pods ripe. The gold edge is huge thanks to Harold Steen breeding. Last, the scapes are special with high bud count and lateral branches that branch into a “y” themselves giving extra flowers on each branch. Our top scape had 44 buds in 2019. The flowers open mid-morning and last well all day. While it is fertile both ways, we do not breed with late flowers much so anyone interested in hybridizing with this flower will have unique genetics.
Photos of Gandalf’s Ring in our garden from 2019