Sat, 23 Jan 2010 13:35:54 PST
On 23 Jan 2010, at 12:29, Michael Phillips lamented regarding misnamed 

> How long have these suppliers have been shipping the wrong bulbs, perhaps
> knowingly, and/or blatantly engaging in false advertising? 

Since at least the end of World War II. You can go back to the AGS journal from 
the post war years and find laments about misnamed bulbs sold via the Dutch 
bulb trade. I've gotten myself in hot water before by making sweeping 
generalizations about the unethical behavior of the Dutch bulb trade, but I 
think the facts speak for themselves.

The thing that really rots my socks is that many of the misnamings are clearly 
deliberate. Go into any garden center during the fall bulb season and examine 
the crocus corms. You are quite likely to notice that some of the blue 
cultivars of the chrysanthus/biflorus persuasion have tunics that shout "I am a 
Crocus tommasinianus." The naive purchaser buys a "blue" crocus and what 
flowers in the spring is purple, close enough for government work.

The moral is that if you are buying bulbs from any ordinary commercial source, 
you must assume the name is wrong until demonstrated otherwise. For the sake of 
one's peace of mind, calm digestion, and blood pressure, it's also advisable 
not to get worked up over misnamings. Just view the whole thing as something of 
a crap shoot that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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