pbs : Lilium formosanum

John Grimshaw j.grimshaw@virgin.net
Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:10:18 PDT
Thank you, Tony,  for that very interesting account of L. formosanum in the 
wild. I've re--read the account in Woodcock & Stearn's 'Lilies of the World' 
(1950), which remains a most useful reference on lilies. They quote William 
Price: 'In the plains the flower is pure white, but as one ascends the 
perianth becomes faintly marked with red on the reverse. Above 6000 feet it 
is wonderfully different, being quite a small slender plant about one foot 
high with a perianth of confrming size. At the higher elevations the red 
markings become deeper and take the form of rich red bands on the keels of 
the perianth segments. The change is so gradual and continuous that it is 
obviously the same species all the time.'

It sounds as if the pattern of variation with altitude has noy changed in 
the past hundred years.

John Grimshaw

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

Tel. 01242 870567

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony Avent" <tony@plantdelights.com>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 6:49 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] pbs : Lilium formosanum

> John and others:
> While I was in Taiwan, I replied about the Lilium formosanum that I had
> seen, all of which had the purple flower backs and were about 3-4'
> tall.  On our final day in the field, coming down from Ali Shan in the
> Central Mountains, when we dropped below 5,000' elevation, all of a
> sudden the Lilium formosanum below that elevation were all 6' tall and
> had no purple staining to the back of the petals.  These plants are
> identical to the plant that we and others sell in the US as L.
> formosanum.  It appears that the variation is simply one of ecotypes
> unless someone goes and names the non-purple back form as a subspecies.
> I hope this sheds more light on the subject.
> Tony Avent
> Plant Delights Nursery @
> Juniper Level Botanic Garden
> 9241 Sauls Road
> Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
> Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
> Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
> USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
> email tony@plantdelights.com
> website  http://www.plantdelights.com/
> phone 919 772-4794
> fax  919 772-4752
> "I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least 
> three times" - Avent
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