Crocus minimus id verification

Rodger Whitlock
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:14:55 PST
On 30 Jan 2013, at 10:45, Bulborum Botanicum wrote:

> I just phoned some suppliers in Holland It seems there is only one grower of
> Crocus isauricus Spring Beauty they will try to sort out what happened 

No need to phone. The Dutch bulb trade has earned, quite justifiably, a very 
bad reputation for silent substitutions of cultivars. Plant a supposed blue 
flamed crocus (C. isauricus 'Spring Beauty') and you will ge a blue flamed 
crocus of some sort, but it may very well be some other cultivar or species 
with the right general look. C. minimus, for example, in this case.

I've seen this happen so many times over so many years that it isn't due to 
accidents. I suspect it's because the demand for many forms is considerably 
greater than the supply, so the wholesalers, loath to let a sale go by for lack 
of stock, do the substitution quite knowingly.

If you look into the pages of the AGS bulletin from abt. 1950 when the Dutch 
bulb trade was getting back on its feet after the War, you will find vociferous 
complaints of exactly the same tenor. Nothing has changed in 63 years. As I 
say, not an accident.

And this substitution is NOT due to careless customers "mixing the bulbs". 
Almost all dry bulbs sold in late summer and early autumn come pre-packaged now 
and no substitution is possible at the consumer level.

One might as well buy the very cheap mixed bulbs of various categories from 
Walmart. At least you won't be overly surprised when they come up.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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