Help with Melica research?

Started by MarkDMullinger, February 01, 2024, 01:06:58 PM

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Hello everyone,

My name is Mark Mullinger and I'm a Ph.D. student in Plant Biology at the University of Vermont. I've been working on the grass genus Melica for my thesis, and in particular I'm interested in species that are bulbous and cormous.

At least six species of Melica found in North America are known to form corms: M. bulbosa, M. fugax, M. geyeri, M. smithii, M. spectabilis, and M. subulata. These species are sometimes commonly known as oniongrasses (not to be confused with many Allium), and at least a few of them are known to be edible.

I'm hoping to investigate the anatomy and evolutionary history of these fascinating below-ground plant structures in Melica. To that end I need your help! It's been difficult to locate any sources of corms or seed to grow for my experiments. The only success I've had is finding seed of M. geyeri from the USDA. However, I have yet to successfully germinate any of these.

I'm looking for collaborators willing to volunteer their time in helping me find corms or seed of these plants in the wild. All of them can be found in Western North America, in particular northern California and the Pacific Northwest. I'm hoping to visit the area this summer to make some observations and collections of my own, though this is dependent on being able to find some funding.

If this project sounds interesting to you and you'd like to get involved please let me know and we can talk more about what might be possible. I'm also happy to answer any questions and chat more about my project, Melica, or other grass geophytes while I'm here.

Thank you,

Mark D. Mullinger

David Pilling

Hi Mark, I have taken the liberty of cross posting your message to the PBS list, where it will meet with a larger audience. I notice that the PBS wiki does not have anything about Melica...



I have a contact for you in California. Could you send me your e-mail address, so I can forward the information?

John Wickham
Los Angeles, CA


David Pilling

There is private messaging on this forum... right at the top, towards the left.