Sources of bulbs, etc., TOW

Jane McGary
Mon, 10 Mar 2003 15:24:07 PST
Alberto Castillo wrote,
>Who opens the fire?
>What about those Eastern European collectors, Jane?

When I mention having bulbs from Eastern European collectors, I mean SEED
collectors, not bulb merchants. There are, in fact, a couple of Czech bulb
merchants who sell wild-dug material, and I do not patronize them. It is
more interesting and safer to grow the bulbs from seed, anyway, though one
does end up looking at a lot of mysteries when they start flowering, as you
can tell from some of my postings.

I will fire off a warning on another front, however: Everyone, including
me, who has received Chinese-grown bulbs (lilium and fritillaria, mostly)
has complained about wildly misnamed stock. I have finally nursed back to
health 4 of the 8 purported species of Chinese Fritillaria received a few
years ago via Paul Christian and more or less straightened out the names,
but for further forays into this branch of the genus I am going to rely on
garden-grown seed obtained through exchanges or the Archibalds.

Here is another little warning: Paul Christian offers a great many rarities
not obtainable elsewhere, but the bulbs tend to be smaller than flowering
size and sometimes require intensive care, and the prices are astonishingly
high. Bulbs I have received from Janis Ruksans are of better quality, but
still very high-priced.

There is a certain London-based firm that is the subject of a great many
complaints from both customers and suppliers; I don't know if it is
appropriate or useful to mention the name here.

And here is a warning about myself: I've had some trouble with Narcissus
fly and have sent out a few narcissus and galanthus bulbs that were damaged
by it the past year or two. I'm trying hard to correct this.

Jane McGary
Northwest Oregon

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