Fritillaria flowering

Jane McGary
Mon, 15 Sep 2003 09:48:55 PDT
Dirk wrote, referring to "The Gardener's Guide to Growing Fritillarias" by 
Kevin Pratt,
 >Would the same be said about their making F. roderickii a synonym of F.
>biflora var. grayana? They also state that this species is a naturally
>occurring hybrid between F. biflora and F. purdyi. Is this right?

Another error.

As I understand it, F. "roderickii" is not identical with F. "grayana" -- 
the former is smaller and less robust in growth than the latter, which I 
(and some others) find to be the easiest form of F. biflora to grow. David 
King's account in "Bulbs of North America" says F. "roderickii" does not 
exceed 15 cm (6 inches) and has flowers of "a unique brown color with pale 
cream tepal tips." The clone 'Martha Roderick' is a selection of 
"roderickii" made in England. The name "F. roderickii," though not accepted 
in the "Jepson Manual" (the authoritative California flora), is still in 
use largely for political reasons, since its restricted population is on 
the state endangered species list and thus provides leverage for 
preservation of its habitat. (This is a useful conservation strategy in the 

F. purdyi's flowers look a lot like those of F. biflora and, at least here, 
they flower about the same time (late in the frit season), but I don't know 
what the possibility of their hybridizing is (i.e., I don't know their 
chromosome counts).

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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