L. speciosum var. gloriosoides

iain@auchgourishbotanicgarden.org iain@auchgourishbotanicgarden.org
Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:07:51 PDT
I would be happy to assist this French gardener to obtain an example of this taxon but not until the Autumn, all our lilies are running almost a month late here. 

There should be no problems over sending this or any other lily bulb within the countries of the EU. As Jane McGary points out it is rare in cultivation and there are a couple of reasons for this, assuming it is the same lily the population in mainland China is not so far as I know available in the trade but might be amongst a few collectors in Europe. The other population, again assuming its the same, is found on Taiwan where it grows on red sandstone cliffs in the north but due to over collecting had become very rare there. The Taiwanese government instituted a propagation programme but somewhere in what passes for my benighted brain I think I may be correct in saying this was based on micro-prop but not sure how wide the genetic base was or is from which they worked. Seed production in cultivation is in any event pretty poor perhaps due to scaling production here in Europe and not being self compatible. I certainly have some difficulty in that sense.

It may be of interest that, on the basis of work here, the treatment of this lily is being written up for the new monograph as a taxon at full species level. Not a very radical approach if one makes direct comparisons with any other lilies from the L. speciosum 'group' growing here. The morphological points of difference in comparison are rather significant on several counts. Quite why its current treatment was proposed is a bit baffling, presumably from lack of opportunities to compare them together. Much as has been analogous with L. auratum var. platyphyllum which is now known as L. platyphylum following recent research on comparative phytogenetics. Yet another example of a species hiding in plain sight.  Iain

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