Bellevalia longipes and Muscari dionysicum; was RE: Muscari and Bellevalia, was What is this bulb's name?

Jim McKenney
Sun, 26 Apr 2009 15:54:25 PDT
Jane McGary wrote: "I have two Bellevalia species (or maybe just one) that
have extremely long pedicels; one is called B. longistyla and I don't
remember, offhand, what the other 
one is labeled. "

Several years ago I acquired B. longipes from Jane. It's a bizarre plant,
one I'm very glad to have.

It is to Bellevalia what Allium cristophii and A. schubertii are to other
Allium: they all are tumbleweeds. The infructescence, with the greatly
elongated pedicels to which the seed capsules are attached, is said to roll
around driven by the wind dispensing seed as it goes.

Bellevalia longipes begins its annual display looking like an especially
vigorous Muscari. The foliage in particular is very wide and long, wider
than any Muscari I know - in fact, it looks more like substantial Allium at
an early stage. The inflorescence at first looks like the standard-issue
Muscari or Bellevalia inflorescence. The individual flowers are in the
general size range of these plants, too. But it keeps getting taller, and as
it goes, the pedicels on which each flower is formed get longer and longer
until they are several inches long.

By the time the seed ripens, the infructescence can be six or eight inches
in diameter and a foot long. It's pretty impressive. 

Jane also mentioned Muscari dionysicum. When I first learned about this
plant, it was still being treated as a form of M. comosum. Its outstanding
characteristic is its height - when in bloom it can be a couple of feet
tall. This is another plant I got from Jane, and I'm happy to report that
unlike typical forms of Muscari comosum, this M. dionysicum blooms yearly
here. This is another plant I'm very glad to have. 

We're in the throes of a heat wave here: daily temperatures are topping 90
degrees F. This is expected to continue into the new week. Tulips are frying
to a crisp on their stems. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where hummingbirds and wood thrushes are back and morels are popping up
in the woods. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

More information about the pbs mailing list