Prelude to the afternoon of the snowdrops

John Grimshaw
Wed, 25 Feb 2004 00:42:14 PST
I am very keen on the idea of Lady Macbeth's Red-spotted Snowdrop: it would
liven things up no end!

John Grimshaw

Gardens Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim McKenney" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 7:41 PM
Subject: [pbs] Prelude to the afternoon of the snowdrops

> The following was written in jest. For those of you who do not speak
> gardener's Greek fluently, a glossary is provided at the conclusion.
> It helps to know what words mean. Here's a little story, a sort of
> snowdrops for dummies story, with yours-truly as the butt of the joke.
> >From some recent postings I've realized that I obviously don't know what
> Galanthus caucasicus is, that I've probably been using the term
> Our local chapter of the ARGS runs a yearly piece on plants blooming on
> Year's Day. Several members reported something called Galanthus elwesii
> monostictus. I had never heard of Galanthus elwesii monostictus. The
> kindly included in parentheses the synonym Galanthus caucasicus. Then it
> hit me: monostictus means one-spotted. If you've been growing snowdrops as
> long as I have, you'll remember the days when one of the first things you
> learned was that Galanthus elwesii is distinguished by the two spots or
> fused spots on the inner perianth segments. Obviously the concept of
> Galanthus elwesii has been revamped (and evidently by a horticulturist or
> botanist with strong horticultural ties): in addition to the traditional
> two spotted forms, there are now monostictus or one-spotted forms. And
> of these monostictus forms are aparently my old pal Galanthus caucasicus.
> Live and learn - and get used to the red facial flush!
> With this in mind, I ran out into the garden to check the spotting on my
> Galanthus elwesii. Many have yet to bloom, so I thought I had best be
> prepared. I have labels ready for the following should they appear:
> monostictus, distictus, tristictus, tetrastictus, pentastictus,
> hexastictus, hebdostictus, myriostictus, polystictus, hemistictus,
> astictus,  leucostictus (often confused with astictus but they really are
> quite distinct), chrysostictus, chlorostictus, macrostictus, microstictus,
> eustictus, pseudostictus, and my favorite, the rare  Out!damnedstictus!.
> The glossary:
> monostictus: one-spotted
> distictus: two-spotted
> tristictus: three-spotted
> tetrastictus: four-spotted
> pentastictus: five-spotted
> hexastictus: six-spotted
> hebdostictus: seven-spotted
> polystictus: many-spotted
> myriostictus: thousand-spotted
> hemistictus: partly spotted
> astictus: lacking spots
> leucostictus: white-spotted
> chrysostictus: golden-spotted
> chlorostictus: green-spotted
> macrostictus: large-spotted
> microstictus: small-spotted
> eustictus: well-spotted
> pseudostictus: not really spotted
> Out!damnedstictus! : Lady Macbeth's red-spotted snowdrop
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland zone 7, where we're having a spot of what the
> local weatherpeople call wintery mix.
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