Buyer Beware -Part 2

Jane McGary
Thu, 11 Sep 2003 10:05:09 PDT
Rodger Whitlock wrote,

>Probably Crocus kotschyanus (syn. C. zonatus), which is actually
>rather pretty, a pale lavender/mauve with some yellow in the throat.
>This species is notorious because the clone usually sold is nearly
>non-flowering. I've had a few of those and the petals were distorted,
>suggesting a viral infection. (Whatever happened to phytosanitary
>certification? Isn't a virus a disease?)

Crocuses can be virus-infected. A few years ago Antoine Hoog visited here 
and showed me how to spot some outward symptoms (streaking, distortion, 
mottling), and I got rid of a couple of affected populations. As usual, the 
solution is to grow your own from seed, which is available from Jim and 
Jenny Archibald's brand-new list; they are promising a website by the end 
of this year, hurrah!

I have two clones of Crocus kotschyanus that flower reliably. One, 
appropriately called 'Reliant', comes from Antoine Hoog in Holland and 
seems very healthy; the other, which carries a "JRJK" collector's number, 
comes from Janis Ruksans and is even more vigorous and floriferous. I've 
also grown several groups of this species from wild-collected seed and get 
flowers from them -- as will the people who ordered the one I have on this 
year's list, because the unsold corms are about to flower in the bag, and I 
have to get them in the ground today.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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