This hybrid is mentioned in the main work under H. forrestii, Dr Robson’s view then being that it was a hybrid between that species and H. calycinum. However, the result of experimental crosses between them tends to disprove this hypothesis (see H. × dummeri above, under H. forrestii). Dr Robson now considers that the most likely parentage is H. × cyathiflorum ‘Gold Cup’ crossed with H. calycinum. This cross was made by Miss Julie Westfold at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1984, but the seedlings have yet to flower (1985) (N. Robson, op. cit. (1985) pp. 254-5; see also op. cit. (1981), pp. 170-1).
Sadly, the once beautiful ‘Hidcote’ is now infected with a virus or virus-like disease, which has caused the flowers to become malformed. For ‘Hidcote’ as it once was, see the painting by Paul Jones, reproduced in Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 80, fig. 129 (1955).
Reference was made to the possibility that ‘Hidcote’ was raised from seeds collected by Lawrence Johnston during his visit to China in the 1920s. In fact, his visit was in the spring of 1931, to Tengyueh in Yunnan, where George Forrest had his headquarters during his last expedition. As a result of this visit, which was a short one, he introduced Jasminum revolutum, Mahonia lomariifolia and M. siamensis, all to his garden near Menton in the south of France.