Cleaning bulbs

Jim McKenney
Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:02:44 PDT
I have no idea what the answers to Jane's questions are, but something she
said reminded me of something I saw in my own bulbs last week. I had been
turning bulbs out of pots, and when I turned out one small Colchicum, I
found four mummified old tunics stacked neatly over the living corm. The
entire assemblage was about three inches long. 


I've read about similar tunic stacking in Crocus, but this was the first
time I have observed it in Colchicum.


Also, I was reminded of an observation I made long ago when I started to
grow bulbs. I was aware of the problems with various rots and bulbs, and it
struck me as remarkable that in so many bulbs the new parts of the bulb form
within the  rotting hulk of the old parts of the bulb. It was only years
later when I learned that, in effect, there are rots and there are rots
(i.e. some pathogens attack living tissue, other fungi and bacteria work on
tissue which is already dead) that this began to make at least a bit of


Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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