Lachenalia aloides or quadricolor

Mary Sue Ittner via pbs
Fri, 01 Jan 2021 20:26:06 PST
I don't know about the rest of you, but I found it very challenging to 
try to figure out which species our photos were on the wiki after Duncan 
split Lachenalia aloides into 7 species in 2012. Even looking at the 
photos in his book didn't always help me. I even made a chart, with the 
various differences and still wasn't sure. I tried to describe the 
differences from his book on the wiki and to qualify the wording about 
what I finally decided to use as the photos that illustrated the species 
to say it could be....

 From the wiki, "Lachenalia aloides is sister to Lachenalia quadricolor. 
Both have bright yellow to greenish yellow outer and inner tepals with 
the outer tepals with green apical gibbosities and the inner with deep 
red or purple markings. Lachenalia aloides has a longer perianth tube, 
longer outer tepals and inner tepals that have broad red or purplish red 
apices with white margins. The inner tepals of Lachenalia quadricolor 
have apices that are slightly flared and deep purple magenta."

Then there is Lachenalia luteola. I wrote about it:

"The typical forms have greenish-yellow, yellowish-green or mustard 
outer and inner tepals with green markings; the top of the flowering 
stalk is bright reddish-orange or mustard yellow. Other forms have outer 
tepals that are bright reddish-orange at the base, shading to bright 
yellow with green markings and inner tepals that are bright yellow or 
greenish yellow with magenta markings."

I think there is no doubt that Chad's amazing photo  shows plants that 
are L. aloides or quadricolor. If you compare the watercolor paintings 
in Duncan's book, it looks more like L. quadricolor. Arnold's is less 
clear, but more like L. aloides  or  perhaps L. luteola and there is 
always a possibility with any of the ones we grow from seed that they 
could be hybrids. If you look at photos in iNaturalist you will see a 
wide variation in the photos of each species so that doesn't necessarily 

I punted before I got to Lachenalia thunbergii and have always intended 
to go back and add a description of it. If Julian Slade and/or Alan 
Horstmann are still on this list and reading this, please give us your 
opinion or anyone else who feels knowledgeable about this genus. I'd be 
happy to add Chad and Arnold's photos to the wiki once there is 
agreement about what they are. Also I'd welcome an opinion about the 
photos on the wiki. It's very hard when we have photos for something 
that gets split 7 ways and no way to measure from a photo.  Also looking 
at the Lachenalias I have grown under the name aloides,  they look 
different at different stages which just adds to the confusion.

Thank goodness for L.  vanzyliae and L. flava. At least those two that 
were split out of L. aloides are distinctive enough there is less confusion.

Duncan lumped Lachenalia gillettii W.F.Barker, Lachenalia pustulata 
Jacq., and Lachenalia unicolor Jacq. into Lachenalia pallida Aiton and I 
thought some of these species looked different so I never got around to 
moving them on the wiki although I did note at the time I worked on 
those pages that Duncan was proposing to include all of them in L. pallida.

Mary Sue

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