Colchicum macrophyllum

Jim McKenney
Sat, 04 Sep 2004 07:52:54 PDT
At 09:16 PM 8/20/2004 -0400, John Lonsdale wrote:
>Colchicum macrophyllum is always first here, and true to form, came through
>in a couple of spots a few days ago.
>Does anyone know how much variation there is in this species?  I've heard of
>white forms?  The leaves are large but attractively pleated and it is a
>great plant.

John, I wish I could share your enthusiasm for Colchicum macrophyllum. You
must have a particularly good form. As it bloomed here, the flowers were
pale and the tessellation smudgy, more so than even our old friend

My plant of C. variegatum looked just like those seen in Jane's photos on
the wiki. As I grew it, it produced small flowers with narrow tepals, but
with better color and more clearly differentiated tessellation.  This was a
step in the right direction, but it was still not the "holy grail" of

Maybe the "holy grail" no longer exists, but Bowles described clearly
checkered forms with tepals about an inch wide at the base. Col. Grey
described a form with flowers "in which the tesselation [sic] is almost as
regular as that of a draught-board". Has anyone out there ever seen such

Many years ago, when the late Peter de Jager company offered 'Agrippinum'
they used a color photograph of a tessellated Colchicum which had much
better color and form than any Colchicum variegatum or 'Agrippinum' I've
ever seen. As I recall, the flower had a distinctly angular look due to the
width of the outer tepals. When the plants of 'Agrippinum' they sent
bloomed, I was momentarily confused, so different were they. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I long ago fell under
the spell of Parkinson's words "yet when it flowreth any thing
is the glorie of all these kindes".

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