Dichelostemma 'Pink Diamond'

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Fri, 01 Jun 2007 15:57:18 PDT
Dichelostemma 'Pink Diamond' is a widely distributed commercial variety 
that closely resembles Dichelostemma ida-maia (the "firecracker flower") 
except in color: 'Pink Diamond' has lavender-pink tubular flowers with 
paler lobes, and ida-maia has flowers with a scarlet tube and yellowish or 
pale greenish lobes. It has been stated by growers that 'Pink Diamond' is a 
form of D. x venustum, a natural hybrid between ida-maia and D. congestum. 
This hybrid is reported to be sterile.

The back story of 'Pink Diamond' is that it was given to the Dutch bulb 
grower Wim de Goede by Wayne Roderick, who told Wim it was D. x venustum. 
This puzzled me, because several years earlier David Hale had shown me a 
plant given to him by Wayne as D. x venustum that was very different: 
bright violet rather than pinkish, and the flower less tubular, shorter and 
a little more flaring. The color of David's plant conforms to the botanical 
description better than the color of 'PD' does, but one would expect color 
variation in hybrids.

Now I have flowering SEEDLINGS of 'PD', demonstrating that it is not 
sterile, at least when grown near other Dichelostemmas (perhaps it is 
self-sterile). Some seedlings'  flowers, and some are scarlet, 
indistinguishable from D. ida-maia. None differ from ida-maia and 'PD' in 
flower form, although D. congestum is growing nearby and flowering at the 
same time.

Is 'Pink Diamond' really only a color form of D. ida-maia?

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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