Colchicum cilicicum blooming and more on new blog post

Jane McGary
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 11:44:34 PDT
In response to the recent post by Kathy Purdy asking about the name 
"Colchicum cilicicum," here is an extract from a catalog prepared in the 
1990s by the Dutch-French bulb expert Antoine Hoog and distributed by 
the export company Hoog & Dix. This isn't a "real" publication in terms 
of taxonomy, but I often resort to this when curious about the identity 
of commercially distributed bulbs. It reflects a generations-deep 
familiarity with the Dutch bulb industry as well as sophisticated 
botanical knowledge.

"Colchicum cilicicum (Boiss.) Dammer ... originally from Turkish 
imports, but the exact origin is not known; differs from /C. byzantinum 
/Ker-Gawl. by the narrower, intensely coloured perianth segments, giving 
a starry appearance to the flowers, by the very short perianth tubes and 
by flowering one month later; honey scented; ht. 10-12 cm; X-XI [i.e., 
fl. October-November]."

The catalog also lists /Colchicum cilicicum /(Boiss.) Dammer 'Purpureum' 
"from gardens; inside of flowers imperial-purple [such color 
designations are part of a Dutch standard], with greyish-white central 
vein, outside violet-purple ...."

In this catalog /C. byzantinum /and its white form are still listed as 
species, though later they were identified as hybrids; the colored 
variety is "from gardens" and has "numerous amethyst-violet flowers on 
lolng white perianth tubes; large corms with a flat base." The flat base 
of the corms is also seen in /C. bivonae/, by the way.

We further read that /C. bivonae /flowers a month earlier than "C. 
cilicicum," and I observe this is my collection, which includes C. 
bivonae forms grown from wild-collected seed.

May I just mention that the most spectacular Colchicum in flower today 
is a seed-grown /Colchicum cousturieri /in the bulb house; the flowers 
are small but wonderfully numerous, and a pleasant light pink.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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