early Spring bulbs, California

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Mon, 11 Jun 2007 17:23:12 PDT
A white-flowered form of Dodecatheon meadia grew in my Maryland garden for
years and then disappeared last year. The underground parts of this plant
reminded me of those of Eremurus on a miniscule scale. 

I don't think Dodecatheon grow naturally in this immediate area, but many
years ago I was taken to a site about forty miles from here where the
Dodecatheon and a number of other plants make their closest appearance.
Among others we saw Delphinium tricorne and the eastern Thuja - the latter
on limestone outcrops only as I recall. 

The friend who showed me this site was a good field botanist, but had never
impressed me much on botanical names. But he caught me that day. When we
spotted the Dodecatheon, I blurted out Dodecatheon meadia - and pronounced
meadia as a four syllable word. My friend looked at me and asked why I was
pronouncing it that way. I fessed up and admitted that I really didn't know
what meadia meant, but if it was Latin it would be four syllables. My friend
then pointed out that it was named for someone named Mead (as I learned
later, Meadia was a genus authored by Catesby in honor of one Dr. Richard
Mead - the name was later adopted by Linnaeus as a specific epithet).	

It's been three syllables ever since! 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Zephyranthes
grandiflora should open tomorrow. 

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin http://www.pvcnargs.org/ 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society http://www.potomaclilysociety.org/

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