Scilla lingulata ciliolata and some crocuses
Tue, 27 Oct 2009 10:39:00 PDT
On 27 Oct 2009, at 11:17, Jim McKenney wrote:

> . . . in bloom, if you can call it that, is that very annoying form of Crocus
> kotschyanus which produces deformed flowers of a pale gray-white. Over the years
> (and it’s been around for decades: don’t the growers ever look at these things
> when they bloom?) I’ve bought this as Crocus zonatus and C. zonatus albus. If
> forms comparatively large, knobby corms . . .

When I first had my own garden to play in, nearly 35 years ago now (how time 
flies when you're having fun!), I bought C. "zonatus", probably from Dutch 
stock in a local garden center, and received a somewhat different form: small 
flowers, but not deformed. The flowers were, iirc (if I recall correctly), 
about the size of those of C. ochroleucus.

Shortly after moving to my present place in 1988, I again bought C. "zonatus" 
and that time received the same form you are moaning about. It's clearly very 
badly virused, so much so that I'd rogue it out if I still had it. At this late 
date I can't recall if that's what I did or whether it decided my heavy damp 
soil wasn't to its liking and took care of the matter on its own.

These days I have a very fine form of C. kotschyanus derived from a naturalized 
stand of them here. The flowers are as large as those of any crocus, and given 
how it's spread where naturalized, it's clearly fertile, though I haven't seen 
seed capsules I can attribute to it. The flowers are pale lilac, but in some 
lights (i.e. late afternoon) may appear almost pink. The color varies, but so 
far no pure white form has arisen.

So there is hope for you, Jim. A decent form of C. kotschyanus does indeed 

Perhaps to commemorate your travail we should assign the cultivar name 
'McKinney Deformation' to that badly virused version of what is actually a very 
nice crocus.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

More information about the pbs mailing list