by Dr. Janis Ruksans & Liga Popova


Iris histrio is very beautiful even before opening of flowers. This sample is from S Turkey, not far from border with Syria. In greenhouse blooms Narcissus bulbocodium, but Crocus korolkowii maid large buds even in outside garden. In greenhouse in full bloom are Crocus ancyrensis.

Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:58

Today +7 C. Sun. Flowers start opening even in greenhouse, but in this entry my greatest surprise. In 2018 we travelled with small group through Iran and at one of stops around 100 km from Kermashah we had lunch stop at altitude around 2000 m. Dima being youngest of us and most powerful ran to gentle hilltop in proximity between ploughed fields and brought to me single crocus corm found by him there. After that we more than half an hour criss-crossed this hill, searching for some more crocuses but found nothing. Really it was wonder, how this one escaped grazing. And now it showed flower bud and... it was yellow!
There are only 2 yellow crocuses known in Iran at present - Crocus almehensis far to East at west end of Kopet-Dag and quite recently published C. kurdistanicus compared with danfordiae. Checking locus classicus for C. kurdistanicus, seem that this one was collected not very far, if I correctly identified locus classicus. So most likely it is C. kurdistanicus. (of course, I identified Qorveh from Google Earth with Ghorveh in Iran Journal of Botany) and there are some other geographical discrepancies. Distance between locus classicus and 18IRS-020 is around 100 km.  Pity, only one plant at present.

Thursday, 16 January 2020 12:19

The 2nd pictured today  was cultivar of Crocus korolkowii MOUNTAINS GLORY. Flower outside with minimal stippling only along midrib and throat very deep yellow. The weather today was extremely dull and dark, so colours are darker and warmer than normally are. Usually Crocus korolkowii is more cold yellow, not so worm as on those pictures.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 17:36

Today I brought inside for pictures 2 cultivars of Crocus korolkowii selected by me from wild material collected during my 2nd Central Asian trip in valley of river Agalik, Serawschan mountain ridge. In this entry LUCKY NUMBER - again tightly closed buds, (but this case for showing outside markings) and flowers pictured 15-25 minutes after bringing in. In Agalik was the greatest variability of Crocus korolkowii seen by me and I collected there many corms which in nature very well multiplied by corm splitting. There were maid some selections and selected stocks got numbers. This one was stock number 12. I gave handful of corms (free of charge) to Dutch bulb grower Jan Pennings, who raised its stock and offered it for trade, but changed name given by me (Number Twelve) to LUCKY NUMBER, and later sold thousands of it.
The winter of 2005/06 was in first part similar to current winter and all crocuses then grown outside were in full bloom already in January, In February came black-frost - one week minus 35, another minus 20 C, and of course most of early runners were killed. Alive very few and from Crocus korolkowii the best survivor was just this one - really LUCKY NUMBER.
Note its very dark, almost blackish brown throat colour and intensively stipled outside of outer segments.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 17:27

The third taxa brought inside today was very special species from C. chrysanthus sensu lato group from Bozdag Range, W Turkey. Here on the first picture - just after bringing inside with tightly closed buds and then 3 pictures starting from 15 minutes after bringing in and the last is the same crocus pictured in the wild in 2013.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 14:28

Today again 3 pots were brought inside. I pictured them just after bringing in, when flowers were in tight bud, then 15 minutes later and last picture is 20-25 minutes after bringing in. Unfortunately I did this on;ly in afternoon, 20 minutes past two, so it was quite dark and tomorrow I will try to picture them again in the first half of day.
In this entry first three picturtes are of Crocus antherotes which I got from Dirk and was reported by him as identified by H. Kerndorff.

The next trio is Crocus mediotauricus HKEP-0112.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 14:10

Today I brought in 3 pots with crocuses. In this entry one of the best forms of Crocus ancyrensis sensu lato. DNA showed that under this name are hidden 5 different species. This one has deep purple flower tube.

Monday, 13 January 2020 18:06

Today is extremely dark but I brought inside two pots with crocuses and checked time for opening from tightly closed buds to such flowers. Pictures were made just 17 minutes after putting of pots on our kitchen's window-sill.
On pictures - Crocus artvinensis and C. chrysanthus from Mt. Parnassos in Greek Macedonia (originally gathered by Jim Archibald).

Sunday, 12 January 2020 10:08

Few more pictures from yesterday - Gymnospermium albertii, two samples of Iris reticulata from Iran (WHIR-134 and WHIR-156) and Iris rosenbackiana from Vahsh - now in full bloom, whilst other samples from other localities at present even noses didn't show out.

Sunday, 12 January 2020 09:31

Yesterday I was too busy with other occupations for bringing inside some crocus pots. Regardless of some sun, in greenhouse flowers remained tightly closed, but a pair of pictures looked quite impressive, so here buds of Crocus mysius - note the difference of colour. Another is very beautiful Crocus fauseri - named after Australian Crocus enthusiast Otto Fauser (hope, Otto, that you didn't suffer from horrible fire disaster). And using possibility of showing 5 pictures per entry - here Colchicum antepense - at moment most floriferous plant in my greenhouse, Gymnospermium albertii - which just starts blooming and one of reticulata irises from Iran, collected in 2008 as Iris reticulata WHIR-134, but certainly needs proper name. Thre WHIR can be decifered as Jill White's Iranian Group.

Sunday, 12 January 2020 07:16

I continue with Iranian crocuses. This one (18IRS-037) almost certainly is the new one, still unpublished. There are several features seen already in flower separating it from C. iranicus. Still need comparing with HKEP's C. sanandajensis, although collected just in opposite direction from Sanandaj and quite distantly. I still need blooming of two acquisitions growing wild in both directions from 18IRS-037 shown here.

Saturday, 11 January 2020 06:29

More distantly from Saqqez, in place which got from our group the nickname "Anemone field" were collected few corms of another crocus (18IRS-054) preliminary labeled as Crocus iranicus aff. Now, checking flowers, I found few differences from typical C. iranicus. I don't think that they are very important - not easy to check presence of minor hairs or papilla in throat, because I have now eye problems and next month will have surgical treatment on my right eye - my most important working eye. Final decision again will be done after checking of leaf morphology. Of course we must accept that no one species is stable as milestone - they are changing and variable. Prof. Arne Strid once wrote me - "it is as with humans, regardless, are your eyes blue or brown, hairs straight or curled - we all are Homo sapiens" (although the second word quite often can be put under very great question mark.
Here a pair of pictures of Crocus iranicus 18IRS-054, picture of our group on the field, then Anemone field (already shown earlier), after which was nicknamed locality and as last - bridge over river in valley near locality.

Friday, 10 January 2020 08:18

Last weather forecast this morning informed that this already is the warmest winter during history of temperature recording. To change - will be needed horrible frosts of Central Siberia during all February, but long term prognosis shows that during all January only few nights will be with minor minus degrees and similar most likely will be February, too. By this winter temperatures we were compared with Ireland and Northern France.
Yesterday I again brought in two pots with crocuses. This case those were Iranian samples from 2018 years expedition.
In this entry is flowers of gathering 18IRS-055, collected some 20 km from Saqqez and after careful checking of flower features was confirmed preliminary identification by corm tunics as Crocus iranicus, Only colour of bract and bracteole were silvery without (?) greenish shade at tips, but this could be caused by very dark weather. Of course later will be checked leaves, too, for final confirmation of identification. Type gathering was collected in 2008 just near border of Saqqez city, where now is city rabbish depository and population from there was completely destroyed.

Friday, 10 January 2020 07:37

More and more crocuses comes out. Yesterday noted that buds of flowers of pink Crocus alatavicus are out to half size. I pictured well developed Crocus athous and still quite fresh Crocus hartmannianus - both in buds as there are no sun. Weather is cool and very wet. Long term weather forecast predicts all January warmer than normally and with very few days when night temperatures could be slightly below zero but days all will be with + degrees. Doors in my polytunnel are fully open and temperature inside is the same as outside. Minimum during last 3 weeks was minus 4.5 C. Started blooming Juno irises sand as always the first is Iris rosenbackiana from Vahsh, Tadjikistan. Coloured buds has spring sternbergias - Sternbergia fischeriana must to open in few days, S. candida is halfway but already coloured.

Thursday, 09 January 2020 07:13

Happy New Year! (although outside now is + 5 and no snow at all)!

My limit of orders is almost full, I'm afraid that in January I will be forced to cancel my offers, to keep my small farmer's status for tax people.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 14:00

In this entry last of "trio" brought in yesterday for pollination and pictures. It is Crocus mysius distributed in wild much wider than supposed by Kerndorff & Pasche who described it from Balikesir Province in Turkey. Here pictured plants from Ulus Dag, but we collected identical crocus on Goldag in Manissa prov (they only showed out noses).

Thursday, 26 December 2019 06:49

Crocus fauseri was already shown in Garden News this month, but now I brought it inside for full opening for following pollination and pictures.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019 17:11

Today I brought some crocus pots into kitchen to forth flowers open and to pollinate them. Afterwards they were replaced back to greenhouse.
In this entry crocus species labelled as demirizianus. It was collected by Ibrahim with already ripe seeds in February, so blooming in December could be natural. And I can't exclude that it is another one autumn blooming annulate species, but I have only 3 plants, so before increasing I don't want to make herbarium and dissect plants for description.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019 17:01

Every day more and more flowers open. Incredible! Will be in March at Open Door Days something still blooming? Here two forms of Iris kolpakowskiana - from Alma Ata and from Kashka-Su - Kirghizstan. The third is Iris kurdica - discovered and published by me from Turkish Kurdistan - well observable black anthers, quite unique feature between iridodyctiums

Wednesday, 25 December 2019 16:19

Yesterdays sun opened some spring bloomer's flowers, too - not so much as I would like (with very few exceptions), but few pictures are quite good. Flowerbuds are out in much more species - kangalensis, taseliensis, alatavicus, michelsonii, two samples of adamii from Armenia, athous, fleischeri and some others, not yet registered in my diary.
Here pictures of Crocus fauseri in morning and in early afternoon
Crocus ancyrensis LST-124 (IV citotype)
and 2 pictures of Iranian crocus from near Anemone field - could be sanandajensis, but I didn't checked yet all features for comparing.

Saturday, 21 December 2019 07:06

Yesterday we had sunny day and for the first time some crocuses more or less opened flowers. In this entry - autumn bloomers which still are in full bloom, only cambessedesii flowers were of poor quality to be pictured.
Crocus sp. nova aleppicus aff. from Jordan I brought inside, so flowers are something too widely opened, but I needed them for herbarium.
From other autumn bloomers here dark form of Crocus laevigatus and Crocus melantherus got from John Fielding as Double form, but double flowers appear quite rarely, not this season at all.

Saturday, 21 December 2019 06:23

Again some sun and some pictures from greenhouse - more and more spring bloomers comes out, but first frost by long term weather forecast is offered only from mid-January, but how we can trust this? If it will continue in same way at March, when we have Open Door Days, - what will be still blooming? May be crocuses will be over? Here Colchicum robustum from Iran - all stocks are in full bloom now, two iranian reticulata irises and one of McMurtries reticulata hybrids - now fully open.


Saturday, 21 December 2019 05:52

The weather dull, moist and cool - some degrees over zero day and night accompanied by heavy rains and almost floods in garden. In greenhouse started blooming some spring colchicums and Hyacinthella sirtensis. On pictures from top:

Colchicum atticum LST-059; Colchicum hirsutum RUDA-065; Colchicum jolanthae WHIR-023; Colchicum triphyllum Gaziantep and Hyacinthella sirtensis


Tuesday, 17 December 2019 10:47

Few days ago during some sunshine I visited another greenhouse where I'm growing apricots and peaches and next year will be planted some grapes, but there still are some bulbs planted directly in ground and some containers, between those few with crocuses. They were planted late and so blooms later, too. On pictures Crocus goulimyi Alba and Crocus melantherus (the last still blooms in pots, too).

Friday, 13 December 2019 10:42

Here is small frost, short periods of sun changes to some snowy powder and insufficient light to open flowers, so I can show only closed flowers of C. fauseri, demirizianus and stipled form of striatus, as well as Gymnospermium altaicum. Really some more are coming out between reticulata irises and several spring colchicums are blooming, too. But weather is too dull for good pictures.

Thursday, 12 December 2019 12:42
Powered by JoomVita VitaBook