Colchicum boissieri

Jane McGary
Sat, 05 Oct 2013 12:38:19 PDT
Colchicum boissieri is one of the smaller species from Turkey and is 
distinguished by an unusual narrow, cylindrical corm that extends 
horizontally, producing offsets much in the manner of a stoloniferous 
plant. I have two forms in flower right now, which I don't think I 
could have mistaken for anything else because of these strange corms, 
yet they appear quite different. One is the plant with rather narrow, 
widely separated tepals shown under that name in, e.g., John 
Lonsdale's Edgewood Gardens photo collection. The other resembles the 
plant shown under that name in Peter Sheasby's "Bulbous Plants of 
Turkey and Iran," fig. 434; it has a more compact flower that is a 
little darker pink (also not tessellated) with a clearly contrasting 
white central zone with "rays" of white. I also have the second form 
flowering in the open garden.

I probably sent out both forms when I was selling bulbs a few years 
ago, so I apologize for any confusion this has spread. I grew both of 
them from seed from reputable collectors, but identifying colchicums 
in seed is surely difficult, especially if the corms look the same.

These are both very attractive, easily grown colchicums of modest 
size, with small, narrow leaves.

Can anyone comment on the apparent discrepancy between the forms?

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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