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Re: BULB: reticulatas

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>From: Dennis Kramb <dkramb@tso.cin.ix.net>
>None of my reticulata crosses took.  I'm so bummed.  There was plenty of
>pollen, and the weather was relatively sunny & clear when I made the
>crosses.  But no luck.  Oh well.  There's always next year!

Don't speak too soon, Dennis.  Reticulata ovaries are below ground at the
time of flowering; what looks like a flowerstem is actually a long tube
extending up from the ovary.  If you didn't know this, check again by
closely removing soil at the plant's base.  Later the capsules reach the
soil surface.  When ripe, they split and the seed is dumped out on the

It is also possible that many named reticulata hybrids have unbalanced
chromosome numbers and are sterile.  For example, the most commonly
distributed clone of I. danfordiae is said to be triploid, hence sterile.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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