John Grimshaw's comments about Colchicum byzantinum have really lit a little fire here: he has in passing commented on something which touched on a little mystery in my garden which has baffled me for years. Perhaps we should call this the "other" mystery with respect to Colchicum byzantinum. The primary mystery about this plant concerns its origin: the plant grown under this name in the early seventeenth century cannot be our plant: that plant set copious, large seeds. Our plant is almost certainly not the one grown by Clusius, although there must be some very close connection. But here's what really interests me: I've had Colchicum byzantinum, or what I think is C. byzantinum, in my garden for decades - the first plants were obtained back in the '60s of the last century. However, the plants I have now don't seem to fit exactly the description in Bowles - in particular, the flowers are bigger than expected and have narrower segments. This has long bothered me, and one response to this uncertainty has been to obtain additional plants under this name now and then. In particular, I have purchased from local dealers (where I could see the plants blooming dry on the shelves) plants which are well described by John's description "broad segmented". Curiously, that is not the end of the story. Those "broad segmented" flowers are soon replaced by flowers with narrower segments. This happens in the initial year, and also in subsequent years there are typically few if any of the broad segmented flowers. Why this should be has long puzzled me, and perhaps someone else has noticed this and has a good explanation. I can think of several possible explanations, but have no evidence to choose among them. For instance, perhaps the form of the flower is influenced by temperature. It's a lot warmer in Maryland in September when these plants bloom here than it is in the UK. Presumably, it's warmer yet in Angelo's Apulia. Another possibility: has anyone investigated the cytology of C. byzantinum? Is it triploid or aeuploid ("aneuploid")? I know that sometimes when a plant has two groups of cells at different ploidy levels, one or the other of the groups sometimes overwhelms the other. A plant that starts out as primarily tetraploid but with some diploid cells will sometimes undergo a transformation as the diploid cells out-compete the tetraploid cells - with the result that the plant eventually emerges as a diploid. Perhaps something similar is happening with Colchicum byzantinum. Thanks, John, for mentioning that others have observed the two different "forms" of Colchicum byzantinum (if in fact they are two forms of the same plant). Jim McKenney firstname.lastname@example.org Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Angelo's plants with their big corms and wide, narrow-segmented flowers sound a lot like my plants.