Lycoris squamigera in bloom here in Maryland

Jim McKenney
Sat, 06 Aug 2005 09:36:51 PDT
Jim Shields wrote: "Since L. squamigera is reproductively isolated from
other Lycoris species including, I presume, both its original parents..."

I'm just about sure you are right in saying that Lycoris squamigera is
reproductively isolated from other Lycoris; but the reason it is
reproductively isolated is that it does not reproduce sexually. Or 
are there such things as sexually reproducing Lycoris squamigera? 

I've always assumed it to be a clone. 

I don't have a problem with species which arise via hybridization, as long
as they form sexually reproducing units. To me, that's just a nomenclatural
problem: the parental species in those cases are really themselves
conspecific, and the proof of that is the ease with which the purported
"hybrid" species forms a sexually reproducing unit.

This happens because "bad" botanists have given species rank names to
populations which, although they are different in appearance, are really no
more different than breeds of domesticated animals such as dogs.   

Also, to my way of thinking, it makes no sense to call an entity which does
not reproduce sexually a species. If there is not a sexually reproducing
entity which corresponds to what we know as Lycoris squamigera, then it's
not a species. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm happy to have my
Lycoris reproduce any way at all. 

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of J.E. Shields
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 10:48 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Lycoris squamigera in bloom here in Maryland

Hi Jim McK, and all,

Get a copy of the Chinese paper (in English) on Lycoris species from Jim 
Waddick, if Jim W. still has any left.  Since the hybrid origin is not all 
that clear (as far as I can recall -- wait for someone to do DNA) I suspect 
that the only properly published name is squamigera.

In any case, it seems that new species arise by hybridization in 
nature.  Since L. squamigera is reproductively isolated from other Lycoris 
species including, I presume, both its original parents, it is probably a 
good species anyway.  Hybrid origin per se would not disqualify it; 
reticulate evolution in action.  I think there are parthenogenic 
(apomictic) species of Zephyranthes (rain lilies) that are considered good 
species botanically.

I don't have bloom size squamigera planted here, but I have one scape each 
showing on LL. sprengeri, chinensis, and longituba.  More should be popping 
up any day now.

Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)

At 10:27 AM 8/6/2005 -0400, Jim McK. wrote:
>Lycoris squamigera is starting to bloom now here in zone 7 Maryland.
>Can anyone tell us what the correct name for this plant would be according
>to the rules? I don't think we can use Lycoris squamigera, because it was
>published as rank species. Does a combination exist for plants of the
>parentage assumed for what we call Lycoris squamigera?
>Jim McKenney

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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