Crocus questions, recalcitrant seed

Jane McGary via pbs
Tue, 27 Oct 2020 10:48:18 PDT
Yes, Mary Sue's questioned crocus is C. niveus. It's one of the 
largest-flowered in the genus. Hard to tell from the photo, but hers may 
show the pale blue tint often seen; otherwise the flowers are pure white.

The name Crocus sieberi subsp. sublimis is still the accepted one. 
Various new and changed names that appear in the Ruksans book are not 
widely accepted. The "innumerable new species" mentioned by Bob Nold are 
mostly coming from the Turkish botanical community and are, I think, 
descriptions of slightly varied populations of well-known species such 
as Crocus biflorus. It is not unusual for botanists, perhaps motivated 
by national pride or government influence (see old Soviet floras), to 
give different names to populations or color variants of this kind. 
(American botanists are not immune to this lure, either.) Crocuses in 
the wild are fairly variable even within a population, and also they 
hybridize where (as often happens) two species grow and flower together. 
That doesn't always happen, of course, since different species in this 
genus often have different chromosome numbers, but there are numerous 
known hybrids, including some commercially available ones.

The most spectacular Crocus flowering here at the moment is Crocus 
tournefortii, which has proved hardier than generally supposed in a 
raised bed, open to the weather. It's the unusual one that stays open in 
dim weather and at night.

Jane McGary, Portland, Oregon, USA

First frost this past Sunday

On 10/26/2020 9:57 PM, Robert Nold via pbs wrote:
>> So flowering today is either Crocus atticus ssp. sublimis, Crocus sieberi ssp. sublimis, or >Crocus nivalis (the second photo). Can anyone help me figure out how to explain this on >the wiki?
> I believe this is what is called a "rabbit hole".
> According to the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, the name Crocus atticus (Boiss. & Orph.) Orph. is accepted.
> But, according to the WCSP, the name Crocus atticus subsp. sublimis (Herb.) Rukšans is a synonym of Crocus nivalis Bory & Chaub. (As is, naturally, the name Crocus atticus subsp. nivalis (Bory & Chaub.) Rukšans.)
> On my other laptop I have saved a dozen or so issues of the journal Stapfia, with descriptions of innumerable new species of crocus, so who knows how this will all sort out in the end.
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