Sternbergia, was protected ovary
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 02:48:50 PST

Jim at alt,

Sternbergia clusiana and colchiciflora have both hidden ovay at flowering time, emerging only months later if pollinated. I added two photos on the Wiki just to show this feature. All the other species bear the capsule on a rather long peduncle instead, but they bend to the ground under the leaves, just like Cyclamen. BTW, Sternbergia lutea (including sicula, greuteriana) set seed and this is not a question of smaller or bigger plants and indeed the bigger forms of lutea I grow do set huge capsules, whereas smaller forms set smaller pods. I agree that at least the form in cultivation known as 'angustifolia' is probably a sterile triploid. I purchased some just to check this, as it seemed a bit odd for me, but they have never set seeds here, whereas I get seeds on all other species, except colchiciflora which refuses to flower in my area, needing a cool alpine summer.

Angelo Porcelli
Apulia - Southern Italy

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