Sternbergia DNA

John Grimshaw
Mon, 18 Dec 2006 22:13:49 PST
I have also never seen fruits on my Sternbergia lutea, although I grow 
several clones quite close to each other, varying greatly in leaf width and 
flower size and shape. Unfortunately their provenances are not known, having 
been rescued from the garden of Primrose Warburg after her death.

The 'standard' garden clone in this country at least is a narrow-leaved 
plant, in which the leaves are rather dark green and stand erect, often 
above the flowers at flowering time. It is a very reliable, vigorous plant, 
with good-sized rich yellow flowers, and is certainly a good representative 
for the garden. I believe it to be a single clone and it is not infrequently 
given the name 'Angustifolius', with the reputation of being free-flowering. 
I have very often been offered bulbs of 'a very free-flowering one' to find 
that it is in fact the same old clone. Since it is so dominant in 
cultivation one wonders what the comparisons have been made with! I wonder 
if this is the triploid Ben Zonneveld has mentioned.

I have only seen S. lutea in southern Greece, where it is rather variable as 
Jane McGary has related. I believe that I've read that in southern France 
the plants are mostly 'Angustifolius' or similar. An autumn trip through 
Mediterranean Sternbergia sites is indicated... what a hardship that would 

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567

More information about the pbs mailing list