Lycoris radiata ssp

Jim McKenney
Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:28:28 PDT
It seems to me that what Jim Waddick is telling us makes a good case for the
point of view that the nomenclatural type for Lycoris radiata (L. radiata
subsp. radiata) is itself likely of hybrid origin. If the purported diploid
form is always smaller and less cold hardy, and if as Jim says it imparts
its red color readily to hybrids, then those characteristics make hybrid
origin of the common big form likely. 

The seeming fact that this big triploid form does not correspond exactly to
any diploid population strongly suggests a hybrid origin for the big
triploid form (or forms). 

If this proves to be the case, that means that the two commonest Lycoris in
cultivation (L. radiata subsp. radiata and L. squamigera)  are triploids of
hybrid origin (and thus are not species in the modern sense). 

It also means that the diploid “Lycoris radiata” will need a new name. 

I hope I’m around to read the definitive studies.  


Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where the first Achimenes of the year are about to bloom. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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