My friend, Russell Studebaker from Tulsa, is a generous soul. He always shares interesting plants with me. In June he gave me a cutting of the lovely mum shown in the photo. His picture above, which he also let me have, is of a more mature clump than mine. Even as a small cutting, mine had many buds and flowers for its first fall in the patio bed. The flowers have lasted until the end of November. They bloomed quite late. The stems are long, so they make a nice cutting flower as well. Since it is a single, the bees, butterflies and syrphid flies have swarmed the blooms, getting the last bit of nectar for the growing-season end.
The plants came from Dr. Michael and Leslie Harvey. Originally, they came from Michael’s grandmother in Valdosta, Georgia who got it from her friend over 30 years ago. The Georgia ladies called these mums “the pinks.” They are true pass-along plants. As Russell wrote in his Tulsa World article, “Good plants perpetuate themselves through friends.” We may never know the real name for these beautiful mums, but we’ll always be reminded of their history.