Fragrance in Colchicums

Jane McGary
Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:21:42 PDT
Tom asked,
>Does anyone know of a reference work on Colchicum more recent (and
>better illustrated) than E.A. Bowles' book form the fifties? I'd love
>to try and identify what I've got...

A Swedish botanist, Karen Persson, has written a new monograph of the 
genus, but it has not yet appeared. I have heard that they are having 
trouble getting funding for the publication. Persson has named many new 
taxa over the past few years.

The write-up I mentioned in the AGS Encyclopaedia of Alpines is by Chris 
Brickell, who was also at one time said to be preparing a monograph, but 
apparently this did not come to fruition.

In any case, a botanical monograph would not be helpful in identifying 
cultivars, many of which are hybrids. Besides, many of the named varieties 
appear almost identical except for very slight differences in flower size, 
amount of white in the throat, presence of tessellation, or depth of pink 
color. You can identify the most distinctive ones, such as C. x agrippinum 
or C. speciosum 'Album', from photos. I do have a Dutch descriptive list, 
prepared by Antoine Hoog, that describes a number of large cultivars and 
could photocopy the relevant pages for Tom if he gives me his postal address.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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