elongated prophyll in Crocus goulimyi

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Fri, 04 Nov 2005 08:13:17 PST
I've mentioned several times that the autumnal crocus are late here this

There are two stocks of Crocus goulimyi growing in a raised bed; one has
the typical color, the other is a white-flowered form. This white-flowered
form was received under the name Crocus goulimyi albus, and I've often
wondered if it is identical to the one known as 'Mani White'. The
white-flowered form is in advance of the typically colored form. 

Here's what odd this year: in both forms, what I take to be the prophyll
extends up out of the ground for, in the case of the white-flowered form,
several inches. It looks like a pale green almost translucent empty tube.
There is something inside and at the base of this tube - developing flowers,
I hope. 

Has anyone else ever seen this? There is something very familiar looking
about it, but I can't place it. There is some other plant which also
sometimes produces long, pale green, initially empty spathes like this:
Ornithogalum umbellatum maybe? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where my memory banks are
temporarily as empty as those spathes.  

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