Notes on BX 295 seeds

Tom Mitchell
Sat, 12 Nov 2011 00:06:41 PST
A few notes for those interested on the items I contributed to BX 295.

All seeds are from open pollinated plants, collected in the garden, except Arum nigrum, which was collected in the wild in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, which I collected near my home in the UK. The Veratrum album selections are likely to have crossed with other V.album plants flowering at the same time and will probably not come 'true'. 

25. Veratrum album, 'Lorna's Green' - from a green-flowered parent selected and named by Keith and Lorna Ferguson. The parent plant is vigorous by the standards of this species, about 1.5m tall in flower and spreading fairly rapidly. Very hardy.

26. Veratrum album, 'Blackthorn' - 'Blackthorn' is not a formal cultivar name but I obtained the female parent plant from the UK nursery of that name. The female parent is about 1.2m tall in flower, has large, bright white flowers and is perhaps the best form of V. album I have. Very hardy.

27. Veratrum album, 'Joyce Heywood' - the parent is a short (less than 1m in flower), slender form of the species, with green flowers, selected and named by Margaret Owen. Very hardy.

28. Veratrum nigrum, ex Slovenia - from my best form of this species, the plant is about 1.5m tall in flower, with elegant, open panicles crowded with chocolate-coloured flowers in August. The side branches of the inflorescence hang down, creating the impression of a fountain. The parent is from a population growing in the NW of Slovenia. Very hardy.

29. Arum nigrum, w/c Bosnia-Hercegovina - from a population growing south of Trebinje, in SE Bosnia-Hercegovina. The climate is mild year round in this location but the species is apparently surprisingly hardy, if carefully sited. The tubers grow deep in crevices between limestone boulders, where they are protected from animals and probably also from extreme temperature fluctuations. Perfect drainage is advised.

30. Allium incensiodorum, ex Croatia - the parent plants were collected on the peninsula of Istria, in NW Croatia, where it is endemic. The identification was provided by Mark McDonough and there are a couple of images of the plant in cultivation at…. Easy, slow spreader in the garden.

31. Iris magnifica, ex 'Agalik' - from Janis Ruksans' selection of the species. Easy and vigorous in the open garden for me (Zone 8).

32. Iris magnifica, ex 'Virginity' - from Janis Ruksans' selection of the species. Easy and vigorous in the open garden for me (Zone 8).

33. Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, w/c Wiltshire, UK - this species is either native or long since naturalised in parts of the UK. It is abundant in the woods and lanes near my garden. The plant is not particularly spectacular, though it is attractive enough en masse, but it is worth growing purely for culinary reasons. Locally it is known as 'Bath Asparagus' and every April local restauranteurs are to be found furtively cutting bunches of the emerging stems in our lane. The young flower stalks are genuinely delicious - better than asparagus - blanched and dressed with olive oil and salt.

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