‘Rosemary Burnham’ and the meaning of the word ‘virescent’
The vocabulary of the keen galanthophile can be daunting. Personally when someone writes or speaks in the technical terms beloved of snowdrop lovers in all their finery I get a buzzing in my head and wonder what’s for dinner. Sometimes however an odd technical term or two can turn the conversation in your direction. And so to ‘virescent’ defined as ‘becoming green’ or words to that effect. Thus when enthusiasts speak of a virescent snowdrop they refer to a green snowdrop. (There’s also a word for an all white snowdrop but too much buzzing spoils the appetite.) ‘Rosemary Burnham’ is one such. ‘Green Tear’ was another dealt with earlier in the month.
Fashions in the snowdrop world ebb and flow. Three years ago green snowdrops were more popular in the obsessive world of galanthopiles than hot tea in the garden café on a cold February day in North Yorkshire. Today it is probably yellow snowdrops. But I digress. I did write about the flower last year, I can report that the single bloom has doubled and, touch wood, it appears very healthy. I fully intend to separate my best snowdrops into two this year to avoid losses. Don’t get me started on ‘Elizabeth Harrison’. And as one of my finest, ‘Rosemary Burnham’ will be in two different places after flowering. I recommend this cultivar, by the way. It’s very pretty indeed, Just don’t plant it among bushes. Virescent snowdrops get lost in foliage.