Oporanthous bulbs

John Grimshaw j.grimshaw@virgin.net
Sat, 25 Aug 2007 00:27:40 PDT
Jim McKenney's invention of the word oporanthous is ingenious and 
interesting, but I think it needs a tighter definition. From his comments it 
seems that he would apply it principally to those plants commencing their 
growing cycle in (late) summer with an inflorescence to be followed by their 
leaves (hysteranthous foliage). Is this true?

I think that such a definition is needed, because there are many 'bulbous' 
plants that are currently flowering at the end of their growing season - 
from the window I can see Lilium, Eucomis, Gladiolus - which can also be 
said to be summer-flowering but are on a totally different physiological 
timetable to those emerging now to begin their annual cycle (e.g. Colchicum, 
Acis and soon-enough, Amaryllis, Crocus, Galanthus reginae-olgae etc, etc, 
including Jim's Lycoris).

And at what point does summer-flowering for such things become autumn 
flowering? That is a very fluid boundary as they can vary a lot in flowering 
time depending on weather conditions. I was going to say that Colchicum 
autumnale is much earlier this year than last, as there is a place on the 
way to our nearest town, Cirencester, where it grows as a native plant on 
the roadside bank. I happened to notice yesterday that they were in full 
flower and thought that they were early because of this year's heavy 
rainfall. But I've checked on my photos from last year and find they were 
taken on 27 August, so there is no significant difference. Last year, 
although much hotter and sunnier than this miserable season has been, was 
also reasonably wet, with 68.2 mm of rainfall recorded here in August (64.1 
mm so far this month). Will have to watch them in a really dry August.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567

Easter Monday 9 April, Arboretum Weekend 15-16 September
Gates open 1pm, last entry 4 pm
website: http://www.colesbournegardens.org.uk/

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 10:37 PM
Subject: [pbs] Oporanthous bulbs

> I think I stumbled on a useful word the other day. I had to make it up, 
> but
> since I did that in the conventional way, it would not surprise me to
> discover that someone in the past had already wandered down the same path.
> The word is oporanthous, meaning flowering in late summer, and it 
> describes
> exactly those late-summer blooming bulbs such as Lycoris which catalogs 
> tend
> to misleadingly describe as autumnal. It was Alberto's question about the
> meaning of the word as a Latinized botanical name which led me to it; I
> merely anglicized it.

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