Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 08:00:35 PDT

I made a wiki page for Prospero.…
David Fenwick has supplied some photos of 
Prospero autumnale and Michael Neumann who grows 
a lot of the different forms has offered to share 
photos and his observations of variations he has 
seen in the wild. Curiously, David's plants were 
photographed in January and February, not in autumn.

As I made the page I decided to add the Plant 
List, the Kew check list, and the Euro+Med 
database "accepted" species in case anyone else 
has photos of them. When making this page and 
looking up the synonyms I was struck with how 
Prospero autumnale has such a broad range and has 
been called so many different things and in spite 
of the variations that must exist (and Michael 
will tell us about)  no varieties or subspecies 
or forms seem to be "accepted". In contrast there 
are a number of different species that are only 
found in Crete. I wonder how different they are and how easy to tell apart.

I found this reference:
FLORA OF CRETE: Supplement II, Additions 1997-2008
by Nicholas Turland & Lance Chilton
"All six species are apparently diploids, with 
chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 12 to 2n = 
28. They are treated here under P. autumnale 
sensu lato until further study of Prospero 
throughout its distribution results in a more 
satisfactory taxonomic arrangement. Bergmeier & 
al. (2001: 351) noted that plants from Ep. Sitia: 
Koufonisi island and adjacent islets do not match 
any of the following six species and may 
represent another, undescribed taxon. Vald├ęs 
(2004) transferred the six species to Scilla L."

I checked with Nick Turland and he responded that 
he wasn't aware of any more recent work on 
Prospero and gave me the reference to the 
Euro+Med database which accepts the changes.

If anyone has photos of any of the 11 other 
species, we'd be happy to have them for the wiki.

Mary Sue

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