Galanthus reginae-olgae

Tom Mitchell
Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:26:39 PST
I agree with Mark's comments about the artificiality of the distinction between the two subspecies of G. reginae-olgae. 

I have seen this species in flower in the wild between late January and late April at different altitudes in southern Bosnia. In habitat the leaves are always present at flowering time, albeit sometimes only just. In cultivation in the southern UK, plants that would flower in the wild in February are in flower now; some with, some without leaves. It would be interesting to know exactly what triggers flowering but it seems from my anecdotal observations that plants that are adapted to flower in spring are capable of becoming facultatively fall-flowering in different climates. 

Of course there can be no gene flow between populations that flower at low elevations in January and those that flower at high elevations in April, so effective reproductive isolation could presumably drive speciation over time, but the natural variation is better described as a cline from fall or winter flowering before leaves appear to spring flowering after leaves emerge along an elevational gradient. Presumably there is free gene flow between adjacent populations along the cline. 

I've never visited the populations of this species in mainland Greece or on Corfu. Has anyone else noticed anything similar or different to the above observations in Greece?

Incidentally, I buy a large pot of honey in the market at Trebinje, Bosnia every time I go there in spring. The bees fly almost year round in that relatively mild climate and, early in the year, the honey they make comes mainly from Galanthus and Crocus. It's delicious!


> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 18:00:20 +0100 (CET)
> From: Mark BROWN <>
> Subject: [pbs] Galanthus reginae-olgae, was Perched Water Table
> To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
> Message-ID: <1106292118.18897.1386176420312.JavaMail.www@wwinf1n25>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> I have many accessions of this plant and none of them behave the same regards foliage.
> Plants from known wild source, The Taygetos Mountains, have been flowering since the end of september.
> Some with leaves some without.
> Years ago distinctions were made between the leafless clones as true reginae-olgae and those flowering with their leaves as corcyrensis.
> I can't see that there is any point in keeping this distinction as they are so variable.
> Those I have seen in the wild were flowering mostly without leaves and developed them at various speeds after flowering.
> I can see the point of this as they were growing under huge old plane trees in relictual stands along streams and seepages.
> The trees were still in leaf and the huge leaves as they fall would suffocate any developping foliage.
> They wait until the leaves break down a bit before leafing out themselves above the leaf litter.
> Some forms of the autumn flowering elwesii do so before developping foliage but are never really as leafless.
> Galanthus peshmenii in the two clones I grow flowers with it's leaves. G. cilicicus does the same.
> I forget how the autumn flowering rizehensis behaves as I have lost it, and the autumn flowering forms of transcaucasicus and fosteri I do not grow at all.?
> ?
> Mark
> " Message du 04/12/13 14:40
>> De : "Judy Glattstein" 
>> A :
>> Judy in New Jersey where Galanthus 'Potter's Prelude' is budding up 
>> quite nicely. It amuses me that the month or so earlier flowering G. 
>> regina-olgae waits until Spring to send up leaves and this later 
>> snowdrop produces leaves with its flowers. Whatever works . . . "
> ------------------------------

More information about the pbs mailing list