Boyce Tankersley
Wed, 07 Apr 2004 09:19:14 PDT
Dear All:

We have a single bulb of Bellevalia makuensis (tentative identification) from the Republic of Georgia in our evaluation raised beds with a number of other geophytes. The foliage is broad lanceolate and I think it is attractive. I took (I hope) a good image of the foliage this morning. Later today I will attempt to load it onto the  wiki along with an image taken last year showing the diagnostic characteristics of the flower/fruit. The flower spike emerges in an exuberant sort of way and is relatively tall, about 12" and very open. The flowers at the tip are dark purple and those lower down on the flower stalk are purple with a white rim around the mouth of the flower. This bulb has come through 2 consecutive rough winters in a raised bed with no mulch topdressing in Chicago, USDA climatic zone 5. Rabbits and chipmunks so far have preferred the Fritillaria caucasica, Tulipa and Lilium neighbors (hence the chicken wire cage in part of the image).

Aesthetically this is not a 'front of the border' plant, but the height and unusual color would make an interesting backdrop for other spring flowers. From an architectural standpoint the contrast in foliage and flower with members of the genus Muscari is interesting.

So far, it has not shown an invasive tendencies. Like all new taxa brought into CBG, it is undergoing a period of observation (for invasive characteristics) prior to use in the public displays.

Boyce Tankersley

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