Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000674, Thu, 10 Aug 1995 14:20:29 -0700

Rhododendron "Nova zembla"
EDITOR'S NOTE. Some months ago, Sam Schuman, a founding father of the
Nabokov Society, noticed that his local nursery was selling a rhododenron
variety called "Nova Zembla." He wondered if there might be a connection
with the "Nova Zembla" of VN's PALE FIRE. Since no one on the list had a
ready answer, I set out to settle this burning issue in Nabokov studies.
After vainly conferring with local botanists and horticulturists, I
wrote to the American Rhodendron Society in Gloucester, Virgina about the
origin of the hybrid name. They didn't know its source, but
sent me a xeroxed page from Cox & Cox, _Encyclopedia. of Rhododendron
Hybrids_. If I read it right, "Nova Zembla" is apparently a cross between
"Parson's Grandiflorum" and "hardy red hybrid" done by Kloster & Sons in
Holland in 1902. Especially good for severe climates such as Scandinavia
and N.E. US. So there is apparently no Nabokov PALE FIRE connection.

Nabokov Scholarship Marches On!