Colchicum × agrippinum "Old Portland garden form" and C. 'Disraeli'

Jim McKenney
Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:10:52 PDT

In 2006 I received through Jane McGary's surplus bulb distribution some corms of a plant Jane described as  Colchicum × agrippinum "Old Portland garden form". Whether from modesty about her discovery or some other reason, she has always described it in rather restrained terms. 

It's blooming here now, and after seeing it in bloom for eight years, I've come to regard it as one of the best colchicums in my collection. Unlike the usual commercial agrippinum, which often produces malformed, twisted tepals of poor, smudged color, this one produces well colored blooms with nearly flat tepals with a pattern of tessellation nearly as clear as that of the two forms of Colchicum variegatum I have grown. And it's a lot easier to grow than C. variegatum. Those of you who like these tessellated colchicums will surely appreciate this one. 

And from 2004 came another favorite: the plant she distributed as Colchicum 'Disraeli' which, as I recall, she got from Antoine Hoog. The name 'Disraeli' has been common enough on commercial lists of colchciums over the years, but the plant Jane distributed is, in my view, the handsomest hybrid colchicum I've ever grown. The flowers are big, the color is rich and the tessellation is clear. 

I hope the rest of you who got these plants from Jane have been able to keep them going. I'm not aware of commercial sources for these, and of the hybrid colchicums I know, these two in particular deserve to be carefully preserved for future generations of bulb growers. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7

More information about the pbs mailing list