Sulfur, Sulfa ----- Sulphur? [and, Where to Plant Fall Crocu

Rodger Whitlock
Wed, 09 Nov 2005 15:56:36 PST
On 10 Nov 05 at 9:22, Paul Tyerman wrote:

[Sulphur? Sulfur? Sulfa? Huh?]

[I hope you don't mind my highly condensed paraphrase of your 

Sulphur and sulfur are the same thing, just spelled
differently, like honour and honor for example. Many such
simplified spellings are due to American lexicographer Noah
Webster, who put them forward in his influential early
nineteenth century dictionary. Not all of his proposed 
simplifications took; "tho" is rarely used for "though" these 

Sulfa is the name of a class of antibacterial drugs that came 
online in the 1930's, predating what we normally antibiotics. 
They were the first systemic antibacterials that worked and 
some of them are still used in some circumstances.

ObBulbs, reverting to the recent discussion/dispute/argument/
catfight over saffron and other fall-blooming crocuses:

In some climates, fall-blooming crocuses have the disadvantage 
of being badly knocked about by the weather. C. speciosus is a 
particular offender with its long, slender, delicate floral 
tubes. For many years I've grown fall blooming crocus just 
withing the dripline of a large conifer, a golden Thuja 
occidentalis at my old house, an Alberta blue spruce[*] here, 
sited so they catch the sun as much as possible. The conifer 
overhead acts like an umbrella to reduce rain damage and the 
display is less beat-up looking in consequence.

Another solution is to grow your fall crocuses amidst low 
twiggy shrubbery that will support them in the face of wind and 

Neither solution is 100% perfect, but I *do* get a decent show 
from a mixed planting of Cc. speciosus, niveus, and nudiflorus 
along the front walk of my house.

[*] Alberta blue spruce: for once, I haven't a clue what the 
proper name of a plant is. Those of you put off by my cry "use 
the proper names!" can now indulge in schadenfreude.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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