Was New picture, Dichelostemma

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Tue, 29 Apr 2003 18:18:38 PDT
Mary Sue wrote,
>I have also seen it called Dichelostemma volubile. I 
>think that is the preferred name. I've read that even if the stem breaks 
>off from the corm it will continue to twine and bloom. Has anyone ever 
>tried that?

I've seen it happen. The stem routinely withers at the base and separates
from the bulb before the seed ripens, too, and seems to contain enough
moisture to support the developing seeds.

There is a Dutch cultivar known as Dichelostemma 'Pink Diamond' that I've
seen identified as a color form of D. ida-maia and, alternatively, a hybrid
of it. I wonder if it's a hybrid of ida-maia and volubile, since it has a
distinctly twining growth habit, though it doesn't require support as much
as D. volubile does (I put thin bamboo stakes by it to keep it from
strangling its Calochortus neighbors). It is like ida-maia in form but
rose-pink, a clearer color than volubile.

Some who notice such things may be confused by the various endings on the
species epithets for Dichelostemma. The genus name has the Greek root
stemma 'wreath', which is neuter like Latin volubile, capitatum, and
congestum, but ida-maia is a noun, not an adjective, so it stays in the

Another interesting thing about D. volubile is that it often occurs in
moister areas than other members of the Brodiaea alliance, such as seeps on
shady hillsides--often in company with Calochortus albus, by the way. This
suggests that it may be adaptable to areas with summer rainfall.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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