Jane McGary
Sat, 27 Sep 2003 09:24:03 PDT
Arnold wrote,

>Some additional views of colchicum.  With speciosum added.  Note the ants 
>all over the speciosum.  Bowles refers to   "myrmecochory" a mechanism of 
>seed dispersal by ants.  Perhaps they also pollinate the speciosum  by 
>climbing all over the fertile parts.

I haven't noticed any ants on my colchicums here, but they are buzzing with 
honeybees, which are still plentiful here despite the terrible mite plague.

Ant dispersal is important for many geophytes, and ants love bulb frames (I 
get stung horribly when turning out the dry pots, but perhaps it's good for 
arthritis, as bee stings are said to be?), so it's not unusual to find 
cyclamens, Gymnospermium, and other plants whose seeds are attractive to 
ants coming up in the plunge medium

I also put a lot of Colchicum photos on the wiki recently, so when you look 
at Arnold's you can also look at them. I don't know how to make the links 
in an e-mail so have not announced them. There is also a new photo of 
Sternbergia greuterana.

Regarding Jamie's question about Dipcadi serotinum, it is a very small 
flower (you can't see the scale in the photo that was posted) that appears 
at odd times in summer. I have several that bloom a month or more apart. 
The colors are all very "subtle," to put it kindly -- dull green and 
peach-tan. The seed is very easy to collect and set in abundance, so you 
can usually find it in thelarger seed exchanges, such as NARGS and AGS. The 
plant is said to be rather tender, but I have some in a frame that is 
hardly protected at all, and they are doing well.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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