Lilium grayi; was: RE: Lilium Pardalinum Seed

Jim McKenney
Thu, 26 Jan 2006 16:53:18 PST
Combining the responses from Dennis in Cincinnati and Jim McKenney: "Lilium
grayi may well be a relict species... it makes sense if they got pushed
southward with the glaciations."

In fact, when Lilium grayi was first discovered (and named for Asa Gray by
the herpetologist Sereno Watson) some thought it was only a form of Lilium

Lilium canadense in northern coastal North America and Lilium grayi are very
distinct. But inland, Lilium canadense changes a bit: there is a widespread
form called Lilium canadense var. editorum which looks like what you would
expect to get if you crossed typical Lilium canadense and L. grayi. 

In fact, about fifty years ago that cross was done and sure enough the
progeny looked like L. canadense var. editorum.

That makes me think that Lilium canadense is "capturing" Lilium grayi:
Lilium grayi exists only at the fringe of the range of L. canadense. 

Also, the plant illustrated in many early twentieth century publications as
Lilium grayi is something else, probably a hybrid between L. canadense and
L. grayi or an extreme form of L. canadense var. editorum. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where winter returns tonight.

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