Jame’s Lye is best known today for the extensive work he did with Fuchsias. What has been lost over time is his involvement with other plants some of which he introduced new varieties (cultivars).

Current research into James’s work has identified he introduced, or was involved with the introduction of, new varieties (cultivars) of Pelargoniums and Potatoes. This research is ongoing and as research continues we expect there to be some interesting discoveries, as further research has been done with newly discovered fuchsia introductions that have not previously been attributed to James Lye.

During the Victorian era it was not unheard of for Head Gardeners, or amateur gardeners, to be involved with hybridising work to improve the plants they grew.

Some of the common reasons for hybridising new plants are:

  • Vegetables or Fruit: To improve yield, flavour or growth habit.
  • Flowering Plants: To improve flower shape, colour, growth or habit characteristics.

If the hybridiser was involved in exhibiting (as James was) their hybridising aims were often to improve the plant, making it suitable for exhibition purposes, this was sometimes driven by changes in styles of exhibition on the show bench.

Click on the links below for more information about different plants James is known to have worked with: