Veratrum on the Wiki

Tom Mitchell
Tue, 06 Sep 2011 12:50:50 PDT
I've been thrilled by the response both on and off the forum to my Veratrum post. Thanks to everyone who has responded - there are evidently more loonies out there than I'd believed.

To answer some specific questions:

Mark: Margaret Owen is a dear friend of mine. She and I put on an exhibit of Veratrum at the Hampton Court Flower Show earlier this year. The other exhibitors and the public loved it but the judges didn't - we got a bronze!

Ellen: I think we can bend the rules and admit Veratrum under the 'bulb' umbrella! If Trillium counts, then so does Veratrum... As far as Melanthium versus Veratrum goes, I don't get very worked up about these things but, for what it's worth, two excellent, independent recent molecular phylogenetic studies, looking at different sequences both showed that the four former Melanthium species form a clade within Section Fuscoveratrum. Under the ICBN rules it would be permissible to transfer all the Fuscoveratrum species to Melanthium  and retain the name Veratrum for Section Veratrum only. Wendy Zomlefer, who has studied the genus more intensively than anyone, proposed incorporating the Melanthium species within Veratrum, which I have to agree is a better solution...

Dennis: Consider it done re the BX. I'll send Dell seed of various species. Veratrum plants typically set a huge quantity of seed in cultivation and the more of us that are growing them the safer they will be for the long term.

Best wishes,


On 6 Sep 2011, at 17:02, wrote:

> We very much appreciate Tom Mitchell's improvements to the Veratrum 
> wiki page. I agree that his text is excellent and he has added some 
> splendid photographs.
> I hope this will inspire some of the rest of you who have a passion 
> for a specific genus to take on adding to some of our current wiki 
> pages with your knowledge and photos.
> Mary Sue

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