Ipomoea and Tropaeolum

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Thu, 25 Aug 2005 08:13:30 PDT
Nice work, Dennis. If that stunning photo of the flower of Ipomoea pandurata
does not get potential growers' attention, nothing will!

And thanks for adding the seed pictures. I think the wiki, which is already
very good, would be a lot better, and has the potential to become a unique
resource, if we all added more photos of bulbs, seeds, seed capsules and so
on. If, a century from now, the wiki images are still accessible to the
public, and if in the interim new data results in lots of name changes,
photos of seeds, seed capsules, bulbs, and any other little detail which
catches our eye  may help growers of the future in identifying what we are
now growing.

It can be surprisingly difficult to identify with certainty plants grown
even only a few generations ago. With that in mind, a question arises: I saw
a catalog recently in which a nineteenth century date of introduction for
the commonly sold white-flowered form of Muscari botryoides (the plant
sometimes called Pearls of Spain) was given.  Yet unless I'm mistaken,
Parkinson described a white flowered Muscari botryoides in the early
seventeenth century. Parkinson's description mentions the smaller bulb and
the yellowish foliage, two salient characteristics of the plant now common
in commerce. 

Can anyone explain this apparent discrepancy? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm fishing the group
for pearls of wisdom. 

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