Keep up the fight. I’ve never seen a nursery selling ‘Valentine’, but I’ve been trying for a few years to get a division from the USDA. They have not yet been able to spare one, but they did send me ‘Plum Hutt’ which has been doing pretty well so far. It seemed to be able to tolerate the heat of summer almost as well as my seedling selection. Hopefully I’ll be able to make divisions of it next year.
I’m down in Eugene and my Victoria has never been irrigated in it’s 7 year life and handles the heat great. This winter was the first time in about 4 years that it dropped leaves in winter even. Maybe stressing it hardens it up though.
Do you have an actual clonal ‘Victoria’ or something originated from seed?
I ended up ordering some seeds today from French Harvest. It took me a few days to decide to go through with it cause it looked so expensive. I wasn’t factoring in the exchange rate though. What I thought was going to cost $60 ended up being only about $42 for two varieties including shipping.
I went with “Crimson Sunrise” and “Tina’s Noble” seed lots. There were other good looking ones of course, but I don’t want to overdo it since it’ll take up a lot of space growing out the seedlings for those two lots. I will plan to keep the best performers from each strain, though I don’t expect them to be exactly like the parent plants and I’ll be growing and selecting in a very different climate than that from which they came. I’m quite interested to find whether they will remain in growth year round in my climate. I hadn’t realized such genetics even existed and until seeing his Australian selections had thought all garden rhubarb varieties were winter dormant.
Hopefully it does not come too late in the season too. I have had things from Dominican Republic come same week while I ordered pepper seeds from Australia and they took over a month to come.
Yes Clayton knew of Burbank’s work starting with Topp’s non-dormant variety and started with it, I believe.
I noticed Lubera was claiming some of their new perpetual rhubarb’s were a first, Didn’t credit Burbank at all…
Clayton of French Harvest tells of visiting Isle of Wight and seeing original rows of ‘Queen Victoria’ and 'Prince Albert’s rhubarb in the kitchen garden of Victoria’s summer retreat!
From what I read on the French Harvest website, Burbank was not the originator of the year round growing type. It originated elsewhere and he just imported it to use in breeding. There shouldn’t be any need to credit Burbank for what Lubera has developed, but it is funny they are claiming to have the first perpetual type.
I wonder why we don’t have any perpetual commercial cultivars in the US resulting from his breeding effort.
Burbank imported Mr. Topp’s non-dormant variety known from New Zealand. Small, thin, stringy fairly useless stalks. In Burbank’s writing’s he made some crosses to better rhubarb with it but mostly own seedling selections to select much more useful perpetual growing plants he introduced. Those were the ones I tried to locate over 40 years ago along with his fruiting opuntia’s. No luck, lost to time or grown anonymously, now, maybe.
I think Lubera started with Burbank types growing in England, French Harvest’s Clayton started with Topp’s variety like Burbank did.
i would be very interested in buying or trading for a few of those to trial up here.