Not TOW - Gymnospermium

Jane McGary
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 10:28:17 PST
I will have to overcome my distaste for seeing early bulbs flattened by
rain and put some of my present surplus of Gymnospermium albertii in the

John Lonsdale also mentioned the related Bongardia chrysogonum. I bought
one tuber of it from Potterton's around 1990 and had it in the garden for a
few years, but I had to move it and so put it in the bulb frame. It is much
more vigorous there, even stirring the admiration of a visitor who knows it
in the wild, presumably because it is a little warmer and doesn't get so
much water. Because it never set seed, I bought another tuber from another
source about 4 years ago and put them side by side. Unfortunately, the two
flower about 3 weeks apart, and they even look extremely different: the
petals are differently shaped, and the inflated cases of the seed capsules
are long and pointed in one, and almost spherical in the other. There are
also minor differences in the foliage. I assume that these represent quite
different wild populations. Does anyone know? One year I did manage to get
about 5 good seeds, and a couple have germinated, but it is obvious why
Bongardia is not common in the bulb trade! Too bad: the red-marked foliage
is highly ornamental, even though, like that of Gymnospermium, it withers
by early summer.

Jane McGary
NW Oregon

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