Lottah Nursery Tasmania, Australia
This is a colchicine induced mutation of the species introduced by Fiala in 1969.
The species proper was discovered growing at around 3,000 m altitude around Sichuan/Yunnan provinces of China around the turn of 1900. There appears to be considerable natural variation since plants were described ranging from 1.2 - 5 m in height.
E. H. Wilson, one of the first collectors of this species, described it as having "foot high, broad panicles of pink to rosy-lilac colored flowers and on other bushes they were white." This is consistent with our S. tomentella bearing white flowers at Lottah.
Flowers of 'Phillip Adams' are a good lavender-pink appearing in profusion late in season with minimal fragrance. The outstanding feature is the gold-leafed form which is rare in lilacs. We seem to have some problems growing it outdoors with leaves turning green/brown over Summer. There is no reported tendency for it to sucker.
It should be obvious to anyone who is reasonably familiar with lilacs why we had to change the name of this cultivar; our lips are sealed on why we chose to honor Phillip Adams in this manner.
(click on thumbnails for larger images)
60416-2642 (2, 6, 12, 28)