Oporanthous bulbs

Alani Davis alanidae@gmail.com
Wed, 29 Aug 2007 15:24:19 PDT
Just a note on definitions; I have a book I often referred to with such
linguistic quandaries called the Composition of Scientific Words by Roland
Wilbur Brown which is an invaluable multi language dictionary reference. It
defines 'opora' as autumn and 'oporinos' as autumnal. It also defines
'metoporon' as meaning late autumn and 'metoporinos' and 'phthinoporinos'
meaning  autumnal, but there is no distinct definition of late summer or
early fall. I believe at least some traditional Chinese calenders defines a
fifth season in late summer and early autumn. Not sure this clears up

Alani Davis
Florida zone 8b

On 8/25/07, John Grimshaw <j.grimshaw@virgin.net> wrote:
> Jim McKenney's invention of the word oporanthous is ingenious and
> interesting, but I think it needs a tighter definition. From his comments
> it
> seems that he would apply it principally to those plants commencing their
> growing cycle in (late) summer with an inflorescence to be followed by
> their
> leaves (hysteranthous foliage). Is this true?
> I think that such a definition is needed, because there are many 'bulbous'
> plants that are currently flowering at the end of their growing season -
> from the window I can see Lilium, Eucomis, Gladiolus - which can also be
> said to be summer-flowering but are on a totally different physiological
> timetable to those emerging now to begin their annual cycle (e.g.
> Colchicum,
> Acis and soon-enough, Amaryllis, Crocus, Galanthus reginae-olgae etc, etc,
> including Jim's Lycoris).
> And at what point does summer-flowering for such things become autumn
> flowering? That is a very fluid boundary as they can vary a lot in
> flowering
> time depending on weather conditions. I was going to say that Colchicum
> autumnale is much earlier this year than last, as there is a place on the
> way to our nearest town, Cirencester, where it grows as a native plant on
> the roadside bank. I happened to notice yesterday that they were in full
> flower and thought that they were early because of this year's heavy
> rainfall. But I've checked on my photos from last year and find they were
> taken on 27 August, so there is no significant difference. Last year,
> although much hotter and sunnier than this miserable season has been, was
> also reasonably wet, with 68.2 mm of rainfall recorded here in August (
> 64.1
> mm so far this month). Will have to watch them in a really dry August.
> John Grimshaw
> Dr John M. Grimshaw
> Sycamore Cottage
> Colesbourne
> Nr Cheltenham
> Gloucestershire GL53 9NP
> Tel. 01242 870567
> Easter Monday 9 April, Arboretum Weekend 15-16 September
> Gates open 1pm, last entry 4 pm
> website: http://www.colesbournegardens.org.uk/
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jim McKenney" <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com >
> To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 10:37 PM
> Subject: [pbs] Oporanthous bulbs
> >
> > I think I stumbled on a useful word the other day. I had to make it up,
> > but
> > since I did that in the conventional way, it would not surprise me to
> > discover that someone in the past had already wandered down the same
> path.
> > The word is oporanthous, meaning flowering in late summer, and it
> > describes
> > exactly those late-summer blooming bulbs such as Lycoris which catalogs
> > tend
> > to misleadingly describe as autumnal. It was Alberto's question about
> the
> > meaning of the word as a Latinized botanical name which led me to it; I
> > merely anglicized it.
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