Not Pic of the Day 'Olive Branch'. Let there be peace

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Not Pic of the Day 'Olive Branch'. Let there be peace

Postby jgh » Jun 06, 2008 11:37 pm

It is amazing how widely a simple symbol can range across cultures. Since ancient times, the olive branch has been a symbol of peace.

Greek legend has it that Zeus would award his newly-built city to the god that offered the best present. Poseidon offered a magnificent war chariot, but Athena won - thus the city was named Athens - with her gift of the olive tree. The olive branch became a symbol of peace and achievement - the winners at the Olympic games were given olive branches.

The Romans picked up both the cultivation of olives and the symbol of the oliver branch from the Greeks. A defeated army would carry olive branches as symbols of peace.

In the Hebrew Bible, Noah on his ark during the great flood sends out a dove to search for signs that the flood waters were receeding. Finally the dove returns with an olive leaf in its mouth, a sign that God's wrath is sated and that He is offering peace to mankind.

I think this symbolism is one of the two reasons that my wife selected Olive Branch as her all time favorite hosta. In a contentious and belicose world, she has always done more than her share to create peace around her. In the hosta world we have names like Victory and Invincible and First Strike and A B-1 Bomber... so it is kind of nice to have a little balance with the lovely Olive Branch.

Her second reason for selecting it is that it is an oddball. Many hostas are described as unique, but only a few have characteristics that are truly unique so that they really set the plant apart. Olive Branch comes from humble beginnings. It is a sport from Candy Hearts, an old standard all-green hosta with heart-shaped leaves that has been around since the 70's. Candy Hearts passed on the traits of nice heart-shaped leaves, formation of a very nice mound, vigor and unfussiness.

But the special appeal of 'Olive Branch' comes from its unique coloration. Good green leaves have wide margins surrounding a center color that is just not found consistently in any other hosta. People can't agree on what to call it. Of course, to some it is olive. To others, it is "butterscotch." It's hard to capture the real color tones in the camera. I think my images make the center look more yellow than it truly is.

It does change somewhat through the season, but not dramatically. To some, it is a little drab. Compared to 'Touch of Class' or 'Orange Marmalade', it certainly doesn't grab the eye initially.

But once approached, the peaceful beauty of Olive Branch can really grow on a person.

So my wife selected it as her favorite because it is different, maybe not as "beautiful" as some others, but always interesting in an offbeat way.

Which may go some way towards explaining her putting up with me for more than 40 years!

Hosta Registry - http://www.hostaregistrar.org/detail.ph ... e%20Branch
MyHostas - http://myhostas.be/db/hostas/Olive+Branch
Hosta Library - http://www.hostalibrary.org/o/oliveb.html

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Not Pic of the Day 'Olive Branch'. Let there be peace

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Postby renaldo75 » Jun 07, 2008 8:36 am

Yours is such a nice Olive Branch, Jim. I definitely want to replace the one I had. It was a victim of the backhoe last winter & I haven't seen any sign of it yet. But it definitely has a place in my garden. Definitely a uniquely colored hosta.
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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Postby jgh » Jun 07, 2008 8:45 pm

thanks, Reldon... the only other hosta I know with that olive shade is Fool's Gold... it has an olive margin on green leaf this time of year... changes to a pretty much solid green in June...
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Postby Patrushka » Jun 07, 2008 9:54 pm

I haven't been able to keep up with the NPOTD posts. I've enjoyed the few that I have read but I have a lot to catch up on. Thanks for starting them Jim. :D

I have always wanted Olive Branch but as of yet have not acquired one. Thanks for the info on it. 8-) I did not realize that it was a sport of Candy Hearts. I've had CH for years.
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Postby LucyGoose » Jun 07, 2008 10:17 pm

Patrushka wrote:I haven't been able to keep up with the NPOTD posts. I've enjoyed the few that I have read but I have a lot to catch up on. Thanks for starting them Jim. :D


Ditto for me here, Pat........I enjoy your writings, Jim!!! Thanks for doing them!!! I will catch up......I might not post on them all, but I will see them!! :D
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Postby pauhaus » Jun 08, 2008 8:32 pm

Jim, that is such a nice specimen of Olive Branch. How old is your clump? I can't seem to get mine to grow. Any tips?
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Postby Arlene » Jun 08, 2008 9:03 pm

Very pretty hosta, Jim. Just as pretty is the description of your wife . . . she sounds like a lovely person!

I think Olive Branch just went on my "future" list . . .
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Postby jgh » Jun 08, 2008 10:08 pm

Well, Paul... Best advice I can give on this is, I think, patience. Mine really did just sit for a couple of years. I think this one is about 7 years in the same spot... pot it took at least 4 years to show any of its mature character.

I am surprised at how well it takes sun... it has grown much better since the light conditions in its area got brighter due to changes in the canopy.
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