Democrats to host plant sale
A few years ago Jeff Owen, an Avery County extension agent, noticed an unusual flower blooming at an abandoned home site near Boone. He collected some of the corms and gave them to another plantsman to identify.
They were gladiolas, but no one could definitively identify them. They ended up being propagated by a Fletcher nursery and entered the market as the “Boone Glad.” They are now usually designated botanically as a hybrid cross, Gladiolus dalenii, its exact parentage lost to history. It's now thought that the variety probably dates to the 1920s.
Boone gladiolas are fully hardy to mountain winters and are known to survive in the ground in zero temps. The corms multiply rapidly, and they become naturalized as a wildflower in sunny locations. The blooms are shorter than hothouse gladiolas and feature medium-sized flowers of peachy-apricot, highlighted by a yellow center and red-streaked throat.
“We are thrilled to be bringing the Boone Glad back to its birthplace,” said Pam Williamson, whose home and gardens are being opened for this sale. “I stumbled on this flower on an Internet gardening site, finally found a nursery that was selling the bulbs, and was able to get a small supply for this sale.”
A limited number of these fascinating perennials, along with other plants, will be offered at the sale, which begins at 7 a.m. June 23 at Aunt Pymm's Table Antiques, 375 Old U.S. 421 South, Boone.
A full list of all the plants for sale and illustrated articles on some of the featured plants can be accessed at http://wataugadems.com. All proceeds from the sale support the Watauga County Democratic Party.