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A hybrid between D. caucasica and D. cneorum, raised by Albert Burkwood in his garden at Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, the pollen parent being D. caucasica. Only three seeds resulted but all germinated. One plant was retained by Mr Burkwood and taken with him to Poole, to which he moved shortly afterwards, and was shown at Vincent Square on May 21, 1935, when it received an Award of Merit. The clone descended from this plant should be distinguished as ‘Albert Burkwood’. The other two plants were the share of his brother, the late Arthur Burkwood; of these one died but the other survived and is the original plant of the clone ‘Somerset’, which received an Award of Merit in 1937 when shown by Messrs Scott of Merriott, who put it into commerce. For this information we are indebted to Mr Albert Burkwood.
The two clones are very similar and both are excellent garden plants. They take after D. cneorum in foliage and their sweetly scented flowers, which are pale pink in colour. The object of Mr Burkwood and his brother was to combine the floral characters of D. cneorum with the habit of the taller-growing D. caucasica and in this they succeeded. Both forms of the cross make vigorous bushes to at least 3 ft high, but of the two ‘Somerset’ is said to make the larger plant, attaining 4 ft in height and more across. The foliage in both is semi-evergreen and in this respect intermediate between the two parents.
D. × burkwoodii is figured in Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 55, where the late Dr Turrill points out that the cross is an interesting one, combining as it does the subsection Alpinae, to which D. caucasica belongs, with the subsection Cneorum.
A sport of ‘Somerset’ with gold-edged leaves, named ‘Somerset Variegated’, has been distributed by Messrs Scott of Merriott. Another, raised in the USA, is ‘Carol Machie’, which probably derives from ‘Albert Burkwood’. A third gold-edged clone is ‘Astrid’, raised in Holland by M. van der Velde; this received a Gold Medal when exhibited at Boskoop in 1983 (Brickell and Mathew, op. cit., pp. 76-7; Dendroflora No. 20, pp. 78, 63 (fig.)).