In a recent PBS posting, I recalled a story of careless, perhaps even willful misrepresentation of a couple hybrid Alliums by the infamous Blackthorne Gardens nursery, a business that became defunct decades ago. It seems I got a couple facts wrong in my recounting of the story. The errors were brought to my attention by the wholesale grower in Oregon referenced in the story. I'm grateful that he contacted me and brought the issue to my attention, I apologize for any distress this may have caused him, and I'm happy to set the record straight. 1. The second of the two hybrids mentioned in my message; Allium tanguticum (sic) "Summer Skies", also originated from Blackthorne garden as did the first cultivar mentioned; A. tanguticum (sic) "Blue Skies". The Oregon grower DID NOT hybridize and name "Summer Skies". I think I was very clear however, in my first message, that the grower tried to set the nomenclature straight in his dealings with the mail order nursery, but the nursery chose to ignore the correction and to continue selling under the wrong name. 2. The second of the two hybrids, is actually named "Summer Beauty", not "Summer Skies" as I erroneously recollected. Had there not been a foot of rock hard frozen snow outside, I could've run out into the yard and checked labels rather than depend on memory. The Oregon grower goes on to say: ========================= "Whether or not Blue Skies is "an insipid and inferior form of Allium senescens" is a matter of personal opinion. Maybe using "blue" in the name is misleading, but then I didn't name it. True, it isn't blue, but I find it to be a decent landscape plant. " ========================= True enough the foliage clumps produced by Allium senescens ssp. montanum 'Blue Skies' and 'Summer Beauty' are indeed attractive with neat, shiny green strap leaves . But then again, that's a feature of the species and almost all forms of the species have such handsome foliage, and are thus useful as landscape plants. But many forms of Allium senescens ssp. montanum have bright, rich pink or rose flowers, in larger heads and on shorter stockier stems, and are far superior to Blue Skies' and 'Summer Beauty'. Thus is remains my personal opinion that the flowers, on 'Blue Skies' particularly, are a dull, washed out, insipid pale pinkish-lilac. Recapping a few facts: ================ a) Allium senescens ssp. montanum is no longer the valid name for the European representation of senescens based on a recent taxonomic revision... the early name Allium lusitanicum has been reinstated as the correct name. b) Allium tanguticum is a slim bulbous species with red-purple flowers, and is not in cultivation to the best of my knowledge. c) 'Blue Skies' and 'Summer Beauty' are poor forms of Allium lusitanicum, not tanguticum as so often labeled. d) Neither 'Blue Skies' and 'Summer Beauty' is anything close to being blue flowered, but the do make nice foliage clumps. Mark McDonough Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States firstname.lastname@example.org "New England" USDA Zone 5 ============================================== >> web site under construction - http://www.plantbuzz.com/ << alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, western american alpines, iris, plants of all types!