Ornithogalum sphaerocarpum

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 19 Jul 2009 13:09:26 PDT
Mark McDonough wrote,
> >From Jane McGary bulbs received in 2003, this was the first year 
> Ornithogalum sphaerocarpum.  ... the 3' tall wands of green 
> white-edged flowers
>I have since moved the plants to an open area among my allium 
>garden; the 2 bulbs are rather large.  Only 5 "sphaerocarps" are 
>setting seed. Doing Google searches I see this species sometimes 
>listed as Ornithogalum pyrenaicum ssp. sphaerocarpum.  Does any know 
>the current taxonomic status?  Is this species really that slow 
>growing (thus not a weedy spreader) to be considered a safe and 
>desirable Orni?.

Flora Europaea has Ornithogalum sphaerocarpum at species rank. It 
does resemble O. pyrenaicum quite closely just to look at. It doesn't 
increase very fast by offsets. I don't think O. pyrenaicum offsets 
heavily either, but it does self-sow in the garden. However, it is 
such a tall, slender thing, with modest amounts of basal foliage, 
that it fits in well among mid-sized perennials such as peonies. O. 
pyrenaicum can be whitish or quite green, or even yellowish.

Speaking of FLora Europaea, I just got a copy of  Flora Europaea 
check-list and chromosome index, compiled by D. M. Moore (Cambridge 
University Press, new ed. 2009). It is a crummy-looking and expensive 
paperback, but very useful. It gives the taxonomic names, 
authorities,and chromosome numbers with indication of the country 
where the specimen was collected, and also citation referring to a 
very shorthand-style bibliography at the back of the book.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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