On Jim McKenney's post on two colchicums he got from me: The C. x agrippinum "Old Portland garden form" was confirmed as a hybrid of that type, and distinct from the Dutch stock, by Antoine Hoog some years ago. I got my corms from a plantswoman's garden that was established in the 1930s and passed into the ownership of a friend of mine. (Said plantswoman was "Pokey" Bayliss, commemorated in the popular Ribes sanguineum selection 'Pokey's Pink'.) She sold the property to the city for a greenway, as it was subject to frequent flooding, and told me to come and get the colchicums I had admired. We dug them up from below 18 inches/45 cm of flood-deposited silt and they were very elongated, but still growing. In the garden they improved very much. Their main difference from the usual cultivar is that the Portland plants have brighter green leaves, while the Dutch plants have more glaucous leaves, more similar to C. variegatum. Possibly Jim's disappointment with his commercial bulbs is the result of their being infected with a virus; I have received 'Waterlily' on two occasions that showed virus symptoms. My Dutch agrippinum stock, from Hoog & Dix, appears healthy, though. Incidentally, I grow two accessions of C. variegatum from wild seed, and one of them multiplies while the other does not. Otherwise they appear similar. It probably requires a real Mediterranean climate to succeed. I think tessellation (checkering) in most of the large hybrids comes from C. bivonae, which is variable. Many of the smaller species are very checkered but probably have not been used in breeding. Too bad as they are great plants. Colchicum hierosolymitanum is showing its spots at the moment here, and this summer I was able to send seed of it to a PBS member in its eponymous city, Jerusalem. I got the cultivar 'Disraeli' through the list of Hoog & Dix, now Dix Export (strictly wholesale). I just gave some stock of this large hybrid to Mark Akimoff of Illahe Nursery, a PBS member, so probably he will be able to sell them in a year or two. Mark also has the Portland agrippinum, and I have plenty of it in my new garden. Jane McGary Portland, Oregon, USA Jim wrote: >In 2006 I received through Jane McGary's surplus >bulb distribution some corms of a plant Jane >described as Colchicum × agrippinum "Old >Portland garden form". ...Unlike the usual >commercial agrippinum, which often produces >malformed, twisted tepals of poor, smudged >color, this one produces well colored blooms >with nearly flat tepals with a pattern of >tessellation nearly as clear as that of the two >forms of Colchicum variegatum I have grown. ... >The name 'Disraeli' has been common enough on >commercial lists of colchciums over the years, >but the plant Jane distributed is, in my view, >the handsomest hybrid colchicum I've ever grown. >The flowers are big, the color is rich and the tessellation is clear.