Dichelostemma question

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Fri, 30 Jan 2004 12:19:34 PST
Jim McKenney asked,
Grey's Hardy Bulbs (c. 1938) describes a Brevoortia venusta in this way:

>"...venusta, Greene. Known only in the Mendocino Range. Very similar in
>habit to B. Ida-Maia, but the flowers are rose-purple; the tube constricted
>above; the staminodes pink, overtopping the anthers. Mr. Purdy suggests
>that it may be a hybrid between B. Ida-Maia and Brodiaea congesta. It is
>not in cultivation."
>Does anyone know if there is a connection between this Brevoortia venusta
>and the plant we grow as Pink Diamond?

According to Dutch lists, 'Pink Diamond' is a hybrid of Dichelostemma 
ida-maia (the genus Brevoortia has long been sunk) and D. congestum, but I 
have seen specimens, long grown in gardens, of something called "Brodiaea 
venusta," and it is a totally different plant. It looks more like a deep, 
vivid rose-purple version of Brodiaea californica in general appearance and 
does not twine like 'Pink Diamond'. The latter I would not call 
"rose-purple" but rather a medium rose pink. I've been assured by European 
growers that 'Pink Diamond' is indeed this cross, but it looks and acts so 
much like Dichelostemma volubile that I really wonder. The flower in the 
description Jim quotes is not at all like that of 'Pink Diamond', which is 
nearly identical to the flower form of D. ida-maia.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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