Allium scorzoneriifolium

David Ehrlich
Fri, 29 Aug 2008 12:26:05 PDT
Jane McGary’s bulb list includes Allium scorzoneriifolium.  Now, scorzonera can refer to members of the genus Scorzonera, especially S. hispanica (= Black salsify) whose leaves resemble those of ramps, which are Alliums.  But scorzonera also refers to Tragopogon porrifolius (= Salsify) whose specific name means leaves like those of a leek, which is also an Allium.  So, ultimately, A. scorzoneriifolium means having leaves which resemble those of another plant whose leaves resemble those of an Allium!  In other words, an Allium which is notable for having leaves like those of an Allium.
I sometimes think of Botanists as a group of guys who after drinking a few rounds settle down to the serious, if not particularly sober business of nomenclature.

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