[Yellow Trumpet 1a]
(unknown origin, pre-1876)
This is likely one of the parents of ‘Emperor’, which shares the cockled and buckled, dog-eared, delightfully messy perianth; a fine, straight trumpet with broad, shallow furrows; and long, broad, upright leaves. This strapping (lorate) foliage indicates where ‘Rugilobus’ itself belongs: it’s a horticultural form of N. bicolor var. lorifolius. “Rugilobus” means “wrinkled lobed” (and it was nicknamed “Jaggyaguars” on Scilly, from where we rescued it, with help from Keith Low); whereas ‘Emperor’ has a ruffled and pleated, recurving brim to its trumpet, the obscure, forward-facing lobes of the ‘Rugilobus’ trumpet margin are modestly ruffled and, in places, minutely crenulate, scored, puckered, and transversely rugulose. A parent of ‘Emperor’ arguably deserves a more respectful epithet, but this unassuming, smaller and paler-perianthed flower has been eclipsed by its progeny, so much so that it has been lost to commerce since 1917. It’s nice to be able to reintroduce it more than a century later!