Galanthus requirements

Jim McKenney
Mon, 28 Jan 2008 06:27:46 PST
Mark asked Jim ,any chance of a list of your "collection"?

Well, here it is, more or less. It's not much of a collection, Mark, and
there is nothing in my collection which would be of interest to a confirmed
galanthomane. I've been out of the loop for a long time. Here's a list of
about two dozen forms which either have cultivar names or home made "pet"
names. The names in single quotes '  are standard cultivars; the names in
double quotes " are cultivars selected in the garden and are simply my pet
names not meant to be taken seriously by others. Botanical names are in

'Cornelia': this grew here for years before finally blooming; it has now
bloomed three years in a row, but the flowers are often malformed, sometimes
'Lady Beatrix Stanley': this double has been very reliable 
'Sam Arnott': two clumps which seem identical except that one has
occasionally thrown double scapes in the style attributed to 'Straffan'.
Pictures have not helped me with this one. 
'Benthall Beauty'
'Atkinsii' (the deformed one)
"golden Atkinsii" a sometimes yellow form which appeared here several years
"tuning fork" an elwesii selection made here with green markings in the
shape of that implement; this might be worthy of wider distribution. It has
very broad tepals which are short and thus rounded; there is a hint of the
seersucker effect seen in 'Augustus'. I've had trouble building up stock of
this one because a family member makes a bee line to it when it is in bloom
and pulls the flowers with its leaves. It stands out that well!
"Thanksgiving" an elwesii selection made here which ofen blooms in late
November (our Thanksgiving holiday)
"Christmas" an elwesii selection made here which often blooms at Christmas
'Augustus': a favorite for the seersucker effect seen on the outer tepals
and also the broad foliage
'Scharlockii': my stock is either mixed with 'Viridapicis' or mutates back
and forth to a form like it. Years ago this stock collapsed and went into a
steep decline. Very slowly it recovered, but when the recovered plants began
to bloom again the flowers seemed to be intermediate between the two
cultivars mentioned. Sometimes the divided spathe characteristic of
Scharlockii appears, sometimes the spathe is simply deformed, and sometimes
is is more or less normal. 
"as Magnet": this might be true to name but I'm not sure
"caucasicus" = elwesii of the monostictus sort, several clones not much
alike but some have the biggest flowers and foliage of any Galanthus I've
grown. One in particular I call "Bassett hound" because of the huge drooping
tepals and another I call "helicopter" because in warmth the tepals stand
out horizontally like the blades of a helicopter. When mature, the foliage
of these plants suggests that of young Allium stipitatum: it's that big! 
plicatus received as "Warham" but I'm uncertain
nivalis small with narrow foliage
nivalis broader foliage, taller, perhaps a named cultivar which has lost its
nivalis with double flowers
indet: bright green foliage (i.e. not glaucous)
indet: narrow foliage, short, does not bloom: this is another stock which
collapsed years ago and has very slowly built up strength, but not enough to
indet: shapely blooms, foliage late to emerge, another cultivar which has
lost its name, perhaps a plicatus cultivar to judge from the  foliage. 

After growing here for years, the following disappeared the year before
'Robin Hood'

I've used several of the snowdrop sites (including yours, Mark) now on the
web to help sort out my collection. But even with that help, I have sorts
which I have not pinned down yet. 

Also, years ago several hundred Galanthus elwesii were planted in the lawn.
When these plants bloomed it was apparent that they were wild collected and
extremely variable in terms of their green markings and bloom dates. The
three listed as ":Thanksgiving" "Christmas" and "tuning fork" are from this
lot, but numerous other forms could easily be separated. There are some with
elongated ovaries which are very distinct. Others are confusingly like the
elwesii cultivars I see on web sites.   

I just put up a temporary web page to show you some of these. Please take a
look at:…

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where witch hazels,
wintersweet, Galanthus elwesii and Helleborus foetidus are all blooming.
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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