photos in the wild

Jane McGary
Sat, 05 Mar 2011 11:08:21 PST
Diane Whitehead wrote

>And the instruction to take pictures of the variations present is
>important, too.  I have so many gorgeous pictures stuck in my head -
>single pictures that were published in books, sometimes fifty years
>ago. They became my ideal of what many species should be, but when I
>have bought the plants or grown seeds, invariably they would not look
>much like those photos.

This is really true. And along with it, it's important to grow as 
many different clones from wild-collected seed, because then you'll 
see a range of variation. For instance, recently some visitors were 
looking at early crocuses in my bulb house and asked what one pretty 
yellow one might be. It's a wild form of Crocus korolkowii, which 
most people know only from the selections with dark markings on the 
exterior of the outer tepals (of course, those are wild forms too, 
collected for their particular attractions). Without the brown 
markings (just the tube has a brown flush), it looks like a different 
species, but in fact it has its own beauty in robust flowers of a 
color that reminds me of Meyer lemons. Now in bloom here is a group 
of Iris reticulata grown from wild seed, including both deep violet 
and light blue forms; we have inexpensive named clones of both those 
colors, but how easy is it to acquire stock of them that isn't 
infected with ink spot disease?

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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