Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sat, 29 Jan 2005 21:02:25 PST
Dear All,

This past fall I had my third species of Polyxena bloom for the first time. 
Actually it was from a BX offering, BX#7, unknown species from Dylan 
Hannon. I consulted all my references and thought I had it figured out as 
Polyxena pygmaea, but asked Julian Slade who is always up to date on the 
latest information. He confirmed that yes, that is what it was, except that 
Manning and Goldblatt do not recognize this species. They consider it to be 
a form of Polyxena ensifolia. To my eye these two are so different that 
there is merit to recognizing it as a separate species. For those of us who 
fall in love with a genus and want to try different plants that are in that 
genus, but look different, it is very helpful for them to have different 
names. Julian also confirmed what I not so long ago passed on to the group, 
that these same men have sunk Polyxena into Lachenalia. Ever since then I 
have been trying to decide what in the world to do with the pictures of my 
plants and the Polyxena wiki page.

After Lee Poulsen's passionate response (1/12/05) I decided to keep the 
Polyxena page and the name Polyxena pygmaea and just explain about the 
names. Lee wrote:
"With respect to lumping Polyxena into Lachenalia, I grow quite a few 
species of Lachenalia and around 5 species of Polyxena. I never confuse the 
two and I never get them mixed up. It's great to hear that they are so 
closely related and belong to the same supergenus. Maybe there will
be people who try hybridizing the two together. But I would never consider 
any Polyxena just another Lachenalia. They're different enough to not need 
to be put into the same genus in my opinion."

It took me quite awhile to revise the Polyxena wiki page using the 
information from Julian and other emails about this genus, an article in 
Veld & Flora by Graham Duncan, The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs, and an 
article in the 2002 IBSA Bulletin by Allison van der Merwe who has done 
work on this genus. Perhaps Julian can let me know if I need to make 
Does anyone have a picture of Polyxena brevifolia or P. corymbosa we could 
add to the wiki to illustrate these two species? For those people who are 
uncertain about what the difference is between a corymbose inflorescence 
and a racemose inflorescence a picture would be a huge help.


Mary Sue

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