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A hyrbid between S. colchica and S. pinnata.
This hybrid is intermediate between its parents, but sufficiently similar to S. colchica to have been treated as a cultivar of it by authorities such as Bean (1981) and Krüssmann (Krüssmann, 1986). The original clone seems to have been derived from Segrez Arboretum, France, in about 1872, but first recognised as distinct at the Coulombier nursery, Vitry, in 1887 (Bean, 1981). It is probable that this is the clone generally cultivated under this name and described below as the cultivar ‘Coulombieri’ to retain the connection. Another plant of evidently hybrid origin arose in the Flottbeck nurseries near Hanover prior to 1871 and was named S. × elegans, but this is a later synonym for S. × coulombieri. It is probable that the hybrid will occur where the parents are grown together and anomalous examples of ‘S. colchica’ should be examined carefully.
Leaflets large, ovate-oblong, with the terminal leaflet 12.5–15 cm long, dark green, glossy below. Panicles shorter than those of S. colchica, with shorter sepals and petals giving a ‘more compact’ flower (Bean, 1981), sepals dark reddish-pink at the tips when in bud. Fruit with 2–3 locules, to 5 cm.
Regarded by Bean (1981) as ‘a very distinct form’, this seems to fit in S. × coulombieri. It has lax panicles to 18 cm long, with large flowers to 2 cm long. It seems unfortunate that this has fallen into obscurity.
Although treated by some (e.g. Armitage et al. 2014) as a cultivar of S. colchica, this distinct clone has also been considered to be of hybrid origin within the S. × coulombieri complex (Bean (1981), Krüssmann (1986)). It originated in the Weener nursery near Hanover before 1895 (Krüssmann (1986)) and was considered by the German dendrologist Hermann Zabel to be a back-crossed hybrid of S. × coulombieri and S. pinnata (Bean (1981)), which might explain the extra pigment in the flowers. It usually has five narrow leaflets, sometimes just three (on short flowering shoots?). The flowers are very freely borne, in nodding panicles, with pink sepals that are darkest at the apex, while the petals are whitish-pink and darkest at the base. The fruits are 3–6 × 3–4 cm, with three unequal locules whose tips curve inwards (Bean (1981), Krüssmann (1986)).