Thursday, 17 December 2009

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

By which I mean, of course, the arrival of hopniss (Apios americana) in Cornwall, legendary home (supposedly) of King Arthur, Merlin, Uther Pendragon and all the rest. While I was languishing in my hospital bed, Bryan Connolly very kindly sent me some seeds he collected near his home in Mansfield Center, Connecticut, which must be pretty damn close to the most northerly spot at which diploid hopniss grows. Unless, of course, dear Massachusetts resident, you know different.......By all accounts, New England had a pretty indifferent summer in 2009, so the fact that these plants managed to set seeds is encouraging. A tasty, nitrogen fixing, northern-adapted root crop - now there's a Christmas present worth unwrapping.

It seems like the Universe has risen to the challenge I set it back in July: provide me with hopniss seeds from even further north than New Jersey. Not only that, but the seeds arrived before Thanksgiving, just as I had requested. Shame I wasn't in any fit state to acknowledge their receipt until now. So, belated thanks Bryan, Radix's very own Mr Universe.

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