Leucojum autumnale forms

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Tue, 03 Sep 2002 07:28:59 PDT
I'll respond on this on PBS instead of Alpine-L because it's easier (no
"confirmation request").

Like John Lonsdale, I have not been able to tell much difference between
material received as various varieties of Leucojum autumnale. Those
received as var. oporanthum seem to have more red pigment in the stems,

I suspect that the material in cultivation is largely hybridized. L.
autumnale sets copious seed and self-sows readily, often flowering the
third year from sowing. In fact, it is a bit of a weed in my bulb frames,
though easy to extract at midsummer repotting time because it is already in
grown then and can be told from things into whose pots it has sneaked. In
the garden, it gets wiped out about every 5 years by a cold winter.

Last year I sent leaf samples of, I think, all my Leucojums to Alan Meerow,
who is doing DNA studies of some European amaryllids now. Perhaps he will
eventually sort this out for us.

Another fall Leucojum is starting to flower here: L. valentinum, which is
absolutely pure white and a bit larger than L. autumnale. Another
fall-bloomer is L. roseum, which must be grown frost-free.

I can't seem to please the spring-flowering common garden species L. vernum
and L. hiemale, probably because they don't like soils that dry out in
summer as much as they do here; I often see large colonies of them in
lower-elevation gardens in this area where the soil is heavier. My plants
stay alive but rarely flower.

There are two exquisite spring-blooming small ones, L. trichophyllum (which
has an even better pink form) and L. nicaeense (late spring). We are just
now starting to grow L. longifolium in North America thanks to recent AGS

Jane McGary
NW Oregon

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