Colchicum hierosolymitanum

Jane McGary
Thu, 22 Nov 2012 10:05:08 PST
Shmuel in Jerusalem (the place for which this bulb is named)  wrote:
>I have a bulb of Colchicum hierosolymitanum that was rescued from a
>construction area. It just finished flowering. The bulb is the size of a
>flattened ping pong ball. I have 2 questions:
>1) Colchicum hierosolymitanum is not listed on the PBS site, but that's
>what it is based on The Hebrew University Jerusalem website
>…  Any idea
>what else it may be called or does the PBS site need an update? I know
>tehre afre lumpers and splitters, but...
>2) Any way to propagate this bulb besides seed? After many years of
>watching this plant bloom in situ, I have never seen it set seed.

I have grown a colchicum under this name for about 12 years, having 
originally grown it from seed purchased from Monocot (Michael 
Salmon), a nursery whose stock is in part now held by Kurt Vickery. 
Salmon collected the seeds in nature. I have, I think, four 
clones.  They have been blooming for about 6 years. Since I moved 
them out of their large pot and into a raised sand bed in my bulb 
house, they have done much better. Each corm produces many flowers. 
They have set seed at least three years and I've raised more from 
seed and sent seed to other growers. Shmuel, I will make a note to 
send you seeds if it forms any this year.

It may be necessary to have more than one clone to get seed. I 
hand-pollinated mine at least one year. My plants did not produce 
offsets in the pot, but I suspect they may now be making offsets 
since they have a better root run.

This is one of the many small Colchicum species of the eastern 
Mediterranean. Although little known in gardens, they are delightful 
to grow in pots, troughs, and rock gardens. They have foliage of 
modest size and often their flowers are large for the size of the 
corm and leaves. Most have pink flowers but a few have white ones. I 
grew all of mine from seed from various collectors and am still 
trying to verify some of them. I sent out corms of a few species 
(especially C. boissieri, which I now also grow in the open garden) 
back when I was selling bulbs. A couple of white forms of C. 
szovitsii are available commercially, and they regularly set seed here.

And yes, I do have photos of it in bloom and I should put them on the 
PBS wiki! I did make an attempt but did not get the photo files small 
enough to upload to the wiki, so must start over.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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