Lost plant found growing in Isle of Man

A plant believed to have been lost to cultivation may have been rediscovered by chance in an Isle of Man garden.

Giving a speech on horticulture on the Island, garden historian and botanist Michael Tooley used the Gladiolus x brenchleyensis as an example of a once-popular variety which had now been lost, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.

However, local man Edward Huyton, who was attending the talk, spoke up and said that he believed the large scarlet-coloured flowers were still growing in his garden – 20 years after being given to him by a green-fingered friend.

He explained that he had been unaware of the plants significance but that it had gone through each winter "very easily".

"I knew it was a very old variety, but if I hadnt seen it in the photos I still wouldnt know its name," said Mr Huyton.

"Its not as big and showy as the modern gladioli so its probably been passed over by many people."

Scientists are now trying to ascertain for sure that the plant is in fact the Gladiolus x brenchleyensis, although they have reportedly struggled to find a herbarium specimen to compare it to.

In other news, the RHS has published an obituary for life-long horticulturalist Ron Watts, who died in August, aged 89.