yellow squills in Passenger to Teheran

Adam Fikso
Fri, 05 Mar 2010 11:21:30 PST
Re Sackville-West:.  Where in Iran was she when the passage was written? 
Some things that existed then are extinct. A particular gigantic  oncocyclus 
from the Balat Sinjar area (never conclusively identified--herbarium 
specimen now turned to dust)  (Now the site of Balad airbase and paved 

A more exact designation of the area might offer a clue.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 12:24 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] yellow squills in Passenger to Teheran

On 5 Mar 2010, at 11:41, Jim McKenney wrote:

> Yesterday a thing long desired finally happened: I acquired a copy of V.
> Sackville-West's Passenger to Teheran. It's the 1990 edition with an
> introduction by her son Nigel Nicolson - I recommend this edition for this
> introduction in particular because it gives good background information 
> and
> gives answers to some questions which the attentive reader will no doubt 
> want to
> ask.
> When I finally acquire a book I've long wanted, I pounce on it. Last night 
> I
> skimmed through the text, starting from the back and working towards the 
> front
> as is my style. I was searching for the passages where she describes 
> seeing
> Fritillaria imperiialis in the wild. I quickly found that, but I also 
> found
> something which left me puzzled.
> Here's what she wrote: "The yellow squills are everywhere, very strongly
> scented."  What in the world could these have been? Was "squill" a lapsus
> calami for "narcissus", as in Narcissus tazetta?

Might it have been an eremurus? Or an asphodeline? Does she give the date of
seeing these, or is it inferrable from context?

PS: You aren't the only one to read books backward. I even do that to some
novels; knowing the denouement can help one plow through the slower parts 

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

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