Misleading Photo in "Bulbs of North America"

John Bryan johnbryan@worldnet.att.net
Wed, 17 Mar 2004 09:59:48 PST
Thanks Rodger. Cheers John E. Bryan

Rodger Whitlock wrote:
> Double-barreled message to alpine-l and pbs list.
> Plate 55 in "Bulbs of North America" purports to show a specimen of
> Erythronium revolutum with mottled leaves. Indeed, there are flowers
> that look like E. revolutum in the middle background, and leaves
> with prominent mottling in the foreground.
> The fly in the ointment is that those foreground leaves aren't from
> the same plant as the flower scape. The foreground leaves are almost
> certainly a form of E. dens-canis -- the manner of mottling and the
> shape of the leaves are characteristic of that species.
> The photo does show leaves in the middle background that probably are
> those of E. revolutum, and there is some mottling visible on them.
> Again, the leaf shape and style of that mottling are diagnostic of a
> west-coast species rather than E. dens-canis.
> The photo is attributed to Molly Grothaus, who has been dead for some
> years; was it published after her death?
> The risk is that unless a reader has more than passing familiarity
> with Erythronium foliage, he or she may very well start identifying
> pink forms of E. dens-canis as E. revolutum "because the leaves are
> the same as the picture in the book." This is a mistake I have seen
> before under other circumstances, and can endlessly confuse novices.
> I suggest that those possessing this interesting and extremely
> valuable book make an annotation next to plate 55 warning of the
> mixup.
> Footnote: while I refer to E. dens-canis, the interloper could be one
> of the erythronium species from eastern North America, which have
> very similar foliage.
> --
> Rodger Whitlock
> Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
> Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
> on beautiful Vancouver Island
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