The low temperatures predicted for earlier this week came and went. The lowest temperature was probably about 15 degrees F. I'm happy to report that there was no damage that I can observe. Even Nerine sarniensis forms/hybrids came through without damage (although carefully covered). I'm even happier to report that one of the Tecophilaea cyanocrocus has a bud up. Iris rosenbachiana is still in bloom and Iris 'Lady Beatrix Stanley' has started to open. Crocus olivieri istanbulensis is blooming, as are the lawn tommies, C. ancyrensis, C. imperati de Jager, C. laevigatus fontenayi, C. korolkowii forms, C. biflorus forms, C. sieberi forms, C. etruscus Zwanenburg (very lovely, this), Bulbocodium vernum, Merendera trigyna and M. sobolifera - the last three' are also called Colchcium, Colchicum szovitsii 'Tivi', Acis tingitana, sweet and so-called Parma violets in a frame but not yet in the open garden, the first Hepatica nobilis also in a frame, Eranthis hyemalis and lots of Galanthus and hellebores. Galanthus elwesii and other early types have been in bloom for weeks; Galanthus nivalis is just starting. Fritillaria raddeana has pale yellow buds the size of Good & Plenty candy (I guess that dates me) on a stem which projects about three inches out of the ground. Several Narcissus have buds up, but no actual flowers or even bud color yet. The list is a bit deceiving: in most cases only one bloom of each taxon mentioned is up, but it's a beginning. No peepers yet, although a friend in Caroline County, Virginia (about two hours south of here unless you drive like a crazy person) reported that they were going full blast for him last week. There had been snow inches deep only a few days before, and more snow fell the day after the first big chorus. Peepers are the crocuses of the frog world. Oddly, the sprouts of the members of the Pacific Rim aroid genus Lysichiton show freeze damage here every winter. I have yet to flower a member of this genus here, and I keep a keen eye on the size of the emerging sprouts. Above I mentioned the flowering of Crocus imperati 'de Jager'. In the old days this was thought to be an interspecific hybrid (imperati x suaveolens); now that suaveolens and imperati are considered to be conspecific, we can in good form call it simply C. imperati 'de Jager'. But doing so obscures something to which I think attention should be drawn: in the old days, Crocus imperati (what we would now call Crocus i. imperati) was considered to be a much more handsome flower than the nearly sterile monophyllus forms such as 'de Jager'. Crocus i. imperati was praised for its larger flowers and more variable color patterns. One other thought on this group of crocus: Crocus imperati 'de Jager' is deliciously scented. Crocus imperati suaveolens is also well scented, as its name suggests. But typical C. i. imperati is not well scented - Patrick Synge went so far as to describe the scent as acrid! So that raises some questions: in particular, is anyone in the group growing Crocus i. imperati? Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where sun later today should bring out a lot more color and fragrance.