Sternbergia DNA

Jim McKenney
Mon, 18 Dec 2006 18:12:44 PST
Jane McGary, in response to my question about seeding populations of
Sternbergia lutea, wrote:

"Certainly there are. I saw broad-leaved forms of S. lutea in both Greece
and Turkey this fall, and they were very obviously seeding populations, with
individual plants spread over large expanses of rocky ground on grassy
slopes and in olive groves, as well as among undisturbed scrub."


Thanks, Jane. That answers part of the question. 


Sternbergia lutea has been grown in eastern North America for over two
hundred years. It blooms early enough in the autumn (often technically in
latest summer) to allow pollination and to give any incipient seed two
months of relatively clement weather to begin ripening. 


In all my years of gardening I've had this plant from numerous sources,
including Virginia country gardens (in the hope that someone still grows
plants descended from those grown by Thomas Jefferson). Yet I have never
known plants in this garden to set seed. Nor have I ever heard of it setting
seed in other gardens. 


Has anyone known plants obtained through the nursery bulb trade (as opposed
to collected plants) to set seed? For that matter, has anyone known
collected plants to set seed? 



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7

My Virtual Maryland Garden


Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 

Editor PVC Bulletin 


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