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Cistus ‘Christopher Gable’

Christopher Gable

Key facts

Parentage: C. ‘Ruby Cluster’ x C. monspeliensis
Flower colour: white with blotches (blotch RHS Colour Chart ref. 187B)
Flower diameter: 3.5cm
Height & Spread: 1.5m x 2m
Habit: arching, vigorous
Notes: Hardy and exceptionally floriferous over a long period; tolerates some pruning and will sprout regularly from base. Raised by me as a blotched counterpart to C. x platysepalus. It has the smallest flowers of any blotched cistus.
This cultivar is named in memory of the ballet dancer and actor, Christopher Gable, former Artistic Director of Northern Ballet Theatre, who sadly died in 1998. It was he who developed Northern Ballet Theatre from a small regional company into an internationally respected and cherished company with a unique style. Without him Northern Ballet Theatre would probably not exist today. Central School of Ballet was also founded by Christopher Gable and Ann Stannard in 1982. Christopher had another career as an actor and music lovers will remember his moving portrayal of Eric Fenby in Ken Russell’s 1968 TV film about the last years of composer Frederick Delius, “Song of Summer”.
Apart from some plants released in error by the propagating nursery through garden centres during 2004, this cultivar was exclusively released in 2005 to members of the Friends of Northern Ballet Theatre as a living memorial to Christopher. Propagation material is now available to interested nurseries.