Hyacinthus orientalis 'Sneeuwwitje'

Judy Glattstein jglatt@hughes.net
Wed, 07 Nov 2007 18:04:23 PST
According to the 1991 edition of the International Checklist for 
Hyacinths and Miscellaneous Bulbs, by the Royal General Bulbgrowers' 
Association (KAVB)

/orientalis/ L. 'Sneeuwwitje'
/orientalis/ 'Snowwhite'
sport of /orientalis/ 'Borah'
P. van Reisen, 1950; spike slender, flowers white, Fairy type
A.M.-B.C. 1960

/orientalis/ L. var. /albulus/ Baker
/albulus/ Baker
Naturalized in S. France; spike small and slender, flowers white, early 
flowering. (2n=16)

Roy Genders, in "Bulbs, A Complete Handbook" makes brief mention on pg 
354 ". . . and from the variety /albus/, with its blooms of virginal 
whiteness, native of southern France, was raised the early flowering 
Roman hyacinth." On the next page he devotes a paragraph to /Hyacinthus 
romanus/, which he describes as "Not a true species but the French form 
of /H. orientalis/ with creamy-white flowers in a loose spike at a 
height of 12 in (30 cm). It is usually grown under glass, when it will 
bloom between Christmas and Easter."

After some more discussion about multiflora hyacinths which are 
derivatives of /H. romanus/ there an interesting two sentence long 
"/Hyacinthus tabrizianus. /Native of Persia, it is one of the rarest 
plants in cultivation, a single bulb being worth 50 new pence. It grows 
only 3 in (7.5 cm) tall and blooms in March, the tiny bell-shaped blooms 
being white, shaded with palest blue and they are deliciously scented."

And there we have it. Would that we did. Have it, that is. I would 
delight in having any of the above-mentioned dainty white hyacinths.

And speaking of hyacinths - is it just me or do the bulbs we see offered 
for sale seem to be shrinking in size, compared to those I recall from a 
couple of decades ago? Or am I just showing my age and a faulty memory.

Judy in New Jersey where the leaves continue to fall from the trees, 
along with dropping temperatures.

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