Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black Dragon or Violacea Plena?

In his Book Wisterias, Peter Valder writes that ‘Black Dragon’ is an invalid name for an old Japanese cultivar introduced to the west with the name ‘Violacea Plena’ (f. violacea plena)  in the 1860’s. The name Black Dragon was probably adopted much later because one of the Japanese names for the plant is ‘Kokuryu’ meaning Black Dragon or ‘Yae Kokuryu’ (Double Black Dragon). The trouble is that this name is also used in Japan for another cultivar ‘Royal Purple’ ‘Hitoe Kokuryu’ (Single Black Dragon). I have purchased the plant under both names from multiple sources over the years, if there are any differences between ‘Violacea Plena’ & ‘Black Dragon’ then they are small at best.

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