Fw: [pbs] Tecophilaea rediscovered

Pacific Rim paige@hillkeep.ca
Wed, 31 Mar 2004 18:44:00 PST
The rediscovery of Tecophilaea cyanocrocus is indeed wonderful; it happened
in spring 2001 and there's a report online at


Paige Woodward
on top of Chilliwack Mountain
in southwest British Columbia
wet Zone 6

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jane McGary" <janemcgary@earthlink.net>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 9:13 AM
Subject: [pbs] Tecophilaea rediscovered

> The March 2004 issue of "The Alpine Garden" (bulletin of the AGS) contains
> the following news item (I have edited Robert Rolfe's text a little):
> "Tecophilaea cyanocrocus has been relocated in Chile, over 50 years since
> it was pronbounced extinct there. M. Teresa Eyzaguirre and Rosario Garcia
> de la Huerta, in 'Gayana Bot.' 59(2):73-77 (2002 [probably published in
> Santiago]) describe how, while conducting a routine botanical mapping
> survey in the spring of 2001, they encountered a large but very localised
> population of the Chilean Blue Crocus at just over 2000 metres, within 40
> kilometres of Santiago, inhabiting an area no more than 20 x 50 m. Several
> illustrations accompany the article, one of them showing the tecophilaea
> spectacular abundance on a level, stony site, which it is reported to
> with a sparse covering of various spiny and hummock-forming shrubs, along
> with Calandrinia affinis and Barneoudia major. The density of this stand
> estimated at 30-50 corms per square metre, in clumps of 5-20; the colony
> said to be somewhat aberrant, in that generally the blooms have an
> extensive white 'eye', approaching but not analogous with the stocks long
> cultivated under the varietal name leichtlinii. In just three examples,
> flowers were pure white. The exact location is not revealed."
> This note tells us something about T. cyanocrocus's habitat preference.
> Calandrinia affinis and Barneoudia major (the former similar to a
> Lewisia, and the latter to a small alpine Ranunculus) are "snowmelt"
> of the subalpine zone, growing quickly in spring and flowering while their
> soil is still very damp, then going dormant. They are often accompanied by
> an Olsynium (I don't know the species) very similar in appearance and
> habitat preference to North American O. douglasii. These very well drained
> sites dry out in the summer, but the stony soil probably preserves some
> trace of moisture well into the dry season, and stays fairly cool below
> immediate surface layer.
> Let us hope that now that botanists have found this site, somebody puts up
> a serious fence around it to keep out the cattle and goats!
> Jane McGary
> Northwestern Oregon, USA
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