Muscari 'Yellow Fragrance' (M. macrocarpum)

Jim McKenney
Thu, 17 May 2007 10:35:49 PDT
Mark, that looks like what I received from a European source about
twenty-five years ago as Muscari macrocarpum. It was not inexpensive back
then. I would say that if the price was right, you got a good deal, although
the widely sold, very yellow cultivar Golden Fragrance is now sold for about
a dollar per bulb. 


And you're right: there are some very superior bright yellow many flowered
forms. Earlier this year John Lonsdale came down to Washington, D.C. to
speak to our local rock garden chapter. He showed a slide of this species
which, when it first appeared on the screen, I thought "Lachenalia"! An
audible murmur of excitement rippled through the group, followed by lots of
simultaneously repeated exclamations of "what's that?" John gave the name
again, and I'll bet everyone who did not already know the name wrote down
Muscari microcarpum, and then there was another ripple of sotto voce "did he
say microcarpum or macrocarpum" - we were like bad kids at school that day. 


I had to chuckle when I read your comment about the names of fragrances.
First of all, most people don't bat an eye when someone describes a
fragrance as "beautiful". Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I
assume some people smell with their eyes! 


Evidently I'm what some people call a "super taster": I seem to have an
extremely acute sense of taste. One consequence of this is that I rarely can
tolerate alcoholic beverages in my mouth for long. They produce an intense,
searing pain which is very unpleasant. In spite of that, I have this real
curiosity about wine, and enjoy reading about wine. One of the more bizarre
things wine writers do is to describe the taste of a given wine as "white
berry" or "red berry" and so on. Since every variety of berry has its own
distinctive taste, and since most wine tasters pride themselves on their
ability to detect the faintest hints of violet, vanilla, sandalwood, cedar,
citrus, oak, grass, flint, not to mention various species of putrescence
best left unspecified, it strikes me as odd that they should use such a
vague, generic term as "white berry". It's additionally funny to me because
of the two white berries which come to mind immediately -white currants and
poison ivy - one presumably packs a whopper of a long-lasting aftertaste. 


"Yellow Fragrance" strikes me as a good name for a Tokaji or Sauternes
similar wine. What say the oenophiles in the group?



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the arilate iris season
is about over - but it was great while it lasted!

My Virtual Maryland Garden


Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 

Editor PVC Bulletin 


Webmaster Potomac Lily Society







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