by Dr. Janis Ruksans & Liga Popova


At first - 2 different forms of Crocus micranthus, then Crocus vitellinus from Syria, collected shortly before started rebel against governing regime, one of the best forms with black connectives of anthers. The last two pictures are Crocus orphei, collected at locus classicus, but blackish connective is not listed in its description, although between my gathering there were 2 individuals with such colour in anthers, and not only this year.

Monday, 03 February 2020 19:01

Today for the first time in this season greenhouse in sun warmed up sufficiently to open crocus flowers and it was possible to make some pictures. At start and in end views of one crocus bed - never before so early were blooming so many crocuses. At first - Crocus candidus 13TUS-039 from near Čan in W Turkley. Then special selection from Crocus gembosii 17-02 - the first which was multiplied sufficiently to be included in next year's catalogue, I only must to find appropriate name. Very nice are its anthers with black connective. Crocus randjeloviciorum was quite recently described from Serbia, but it is growing in Bulgaria, too. And as last in this entry - Crocus sarichinarensis R2CV-036, found and published by me from Sarichinardag, not far from Antalya to West, Turkey.

Monday, 03 February 2020 18:09

In this entry 2 pictures of Crocus youngiorum dedicated by me and Henrik to Maggi and Ian Young from Scottish Rock Garden Club. Originally it was collected by Henrik Zetterlund from Gothenburg BG already in 1990, but only recently, when I rechecked still unidentified samples of my and Gothenburg's collections, I found that it is very special and different from other crocuses by several features, new species. Then reticulata iris from same region and again quite special (SASA-270) originally collected by Stevens, Archibald & Seisums. Reticulata iris - 16IRS-054 - was collected on the Pass on dirty road between Nash to Asiabar. Still not checked but by flower resembles Iris hyrcana. We stopped there to look for some quite special Muscari sp. And as last - seedling from Alan McMurtrie, received without label.


Sunday, 02 February 2020 06:35

The first pictures are of Iris histrio - the first show it in buds, next with open flowers (this is from Hatay) and the 3rd - from Yarpuz (S Turkey)
Then Iris kurdica, published by me - at present single one species between all "reticulatas" with black anthers.
The last is one of Iranian gatherings - quite variable - all 3 collected at same place.


Saturday, 01 February 2020 08:37

New Crocus species from NW Iran and Crocus uschakensis from Turkey (yellow) published by me.

Saturday, 01 February 2020 08:17

Few other plants - the first Eranthis cilicica from Turkey, then Korean Eranthis byunsanensis. Started blooming Sternbergia candida from Turkey, Then Corydalis naryniana and as last Colchicum keselringii from Tadjikistan

Saturday, 01 February 2020 08:10

Still forced to bring in crocus pots for pictures. Next week forecasted 2 nights with temperature down to minus 7, hope it will not damage plants. The first two pictures are of Crocus inghamii, found by John ingham and described and published by me, then 2 pictures of Crocus sanandajensis from HKEP. The last is Iris reticulata hybrid from Alan McMurtrie - at least irises I can picture without bringing in.

Saturday, 01 February 2020 07:55

The last crocus pictures from last weekend.
The first is new species from W of Iran, now started blooming and I will start working on it. Pictured plant was brought in for herbarium.
Next is lilac form of Crocus stevensii, published by me.
Crocus suaveolens still stay in tight buds, I think already for 2 weeks.
Surprisingly, but flowers opened one of new species from C. veluchensis group - normally it is late blooming species.
And as last is Crocus youngiorum, published by me, but originally collected by Henrik Zetterlund in Munzur Daglari, Turkish Kurdistan. Still in tight buds.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 09:32

Sunny hours opened flowers of Crocus hittiticus which started blooming in the first days of December. Here classical sample from Brian Mathew's collection, used for description of this species, and as next - sample which I got from Jim Archibald with wider flower segments and larger flowers. By the way, yesterday noted that it started blooming (still in tight buds) also in outside garden.
Once more beautiful hybrid/mutation of Crocus korolkowii from Lithuania 'Lemon Alatau' raised by Eugenius Dambrauskas.
Then very special crocus, at present labeled as mysius aff, but could be simavensis, too. Both has very long filaments and short anthers. Not easy to separate, especially because both my samples were collected far from locus classicus locality as it was published by HKEP, but information given by them could be incorrect, too (in association with other false data published by them).
And last is yellow form of Crocus minutus, but it can be another new species, too. Its white stigma splits already deep in throat and stigmatic branches are very long, whilst in typical minutus according HKEP flowers are bluish and stigmatic branches shorter.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 08:49

Again I'm forced to bring in pots to get some open flower pictures. The red label in pot means that from this stock herbarium is needed.
In this entry two acquisitions of Crocus chrysanthus sensu lato from Turkey and Crocus henrikii. The last most likely is hybrid, it was marked and separated from main stock last spring.
And as last is Crocus crewei TULA-011 - my own gathering.

Monday, 27 January 2020 11:52

Some more crocuses from last Saturday, yesterday, today and all coming week - only clouds, fog, rain...
At first 2 pictures of C. antherotes - my own gathering and plant got from Dirk
Then Crocus brickellii - described by me, something similar to danfordiae, but stigma well overpass tips of anthers. The longest flower in background never opened and will not more open...
Next is Crocus demirizianus
and as last Crocus hartmannianus got from Oron.

Monday, 27 January 2020 07:21

Yesterday we had full day of sun, but still weather was cold and temperature even in greenhouse with closed doors and windows didn't exceed 6-7 C. Several crocuses opened their flowers and most of day I passed inside checking stocks and picturing flowers.
Bloomed one of the most beautiful crocuses - Crocus caricus from SW Turkey, but two interesting yellow crocuses from so named "chrysanthus" group not opened flowers and in evening I brought pots inside to picture them today. For long time Crocus corsicus from Sardinia are staying in closed buds and didn't opened flowers even in yesterday's sun.
Unfortunately today again is cloudy and dark and weather forecast not predict sunny days during next two weeks.

Sunday, 26 January 2020 07:10

Some irises seem to be nicer in buds (or beautiful already in buds) - here Iris histrio from Hatay province some time ago and yesterday. After that I. bakeriana from Iran, Iris aintabensis from Gaziantep in Turkey and as last - Iris sophenensis.

Saturday, 25 January 2020 06:14

Today I again brought inside some pots with crocuses to force their opening. One of the best places where greatest variability was found was Gembos Yaila not far from Akseki in Turkey. Pity, but the places where crocuses bloomed so abundantly during my last visit there were marked and divided for building of villas. Fantastic locality most likely now is lost. Every year I'm marking clones from those early gatherings and their seedlings. Many are hybrids between Crocus gembosii from chrysanthus group published by me and Crocus which I identified as concinnus, although I'm not 100% sure about correct identification. Clone shown here was labeled under number 20-03.
Last 2 pictures are from another species published by me from chrysanthus like Turkish species (this year 3 more so named chrysanthus pots from Turkey has "red flags" fort I would not forget to describe them - two already are blooming, the third only very tips of shoots showed at present). It is Crocus muglaensis from Mugla province with distinct black anthers. I observed no one with yellow anthers in its area.

Friday, 24 January 2020 17:46

Some more pictures from few sunny hours yesterday. The first is seedling of Corydalis ainae 'Apricotin' raised by Lithiuanian bulb grower Eugenius Dambrauskas. Not all crocuses opened but they are beautiful in buds, too - Crocus bowlesianus JATU-044, still continue blooming this phantastic Turkish C. chrysanthus 13TUS-017. As last two pictures are hybrids of reticulata irises raised by Alan McMurtrie from Canada.

Friday, 24 January 2020 05:30
Today are blooming Eranthis stellata from Far East, Korean E. buyunsanensis is in flowers, but they stiill didn't opened; Corydalis schanginii, many reticulata irises and of course - crocuses. Here we had some hours of sun, but only few crocus flowers opened. The most widely opened Crocus of really unknown origin from sieberi/atticus/sublimis/nivalis group - Bowles' White. Its throat is glabrous, so it most likely could belong to atticus; for sieberi it is too hardy; I dont think that nivalis or athous was grown by E.A. Bowles, who raised this variety, but sublimis has hairy throat. More and more of McMurtrie's reticulata hybrids open flowers.
Thursday, 23 January 2020 15:52

Yesterday we had here a little sun, followed by heavy rain today. Regardless of sun and closed doors and windows only very few crocuses slightly opened flowers. In this entry Crocus hartmannianus from Cyprus, the stock used for description of Crocus hittiticus (as subsp. of reticulatus) by Brian Mathew, another, better looking stock originally collected by Jim Archibald and another relative of Crocus reticulatus - Crocus micranthus, unfortunately not opened yesterday. And as last in this entry Crocus vitellinus from Syria, originally collected there in 2002.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020 14:47

Now two "blacks" (of course only in tight closed bud. The first three pictures are selection from Crocus korolkowii seedlings - 19-02
and another duo - Crocus gembosii selection 20-02 - even darker in bud.

Monday, 20 January 2020 18:33

Two crocuses of today - the first Crocus nevadensis from Morocco and then 3 pictures of Crocus stevensii named by me after Norman Stevens from Cambridge Bulbs - great traveller who together with Jim Archibald introduced many new plants from wild into cultivation.

Monday, 20 January 2020 13:46

Crocus yataganensis - last pictures from yesterday. Today new ones pictured but I was too busy watering my greenhouse. Accidentally one pot slipped out of my hands and I found that it is may be too dry. In spring crocus soil usually is very wet, so surplus water will give no damage.

Sunday, 19 January 2020 15:46

Some more reticulata irises are blooming now. In this entry all are Iranians
17IRS-021 - collected at alt. 1573 m near turn to Shams Abad
18IRS-086 - along road From Khalhal to Mosuleh at alt. 1569 m
Both are similar and collected at only 50 km distance
WHIR-156 - from Pass before Takht-e Soleyman, alt. 2620 m, it was growing together with Iris meda
WHIR-201 - between Salavatabad and Gorgabad. It was growing on steep slopes and rocky outcrops at 2290 m. altitude
All blooms in polytunnel with fully open doors and windows.  It seems that real winter this year will not come here at all.


Saturday, 18 January 2020 13:56

The first picture shows crocus species from near Tunceli, Munzur Daģlari in Turkey. From there are published two species - Crocus munzurense by Kerndorff and Pasche and Crocus youngiorum by me. Both still are not blooming, but flowers came out in another acquisition which didn't look as munzurense or youngiorum. It was collected already in 1990 by KPPZ trip from Gothenburg BG (KPPZ-217) and still is grown there and in my collection.
The last 2 pictures represents beautiful Crocus nubigena from Lesbos Island, Greece.

Saturday, 18 January 2020 06:09

Yesterday I brought in the most unusual crocus in the world - the famous pink Crocus alatavicus and after 15 minutes it showed the proper colour and beauty.
The another has special story. Some time ago Potterton & Martin company selected from wild material collected not far from Akseki in Turkey very special crocus from C. chrysanthus group with black stigma and gave to it name 'Sunspot'. Unfortunately during growing it got some fungal and virus infection. I bought it three times, hoping to receive good quality stock, but finally destroyed all stocks, although sometimes I was a little doubtful about virus infection, but viruses can hide under good growing conditions. But I found similar one at the same locality and I crossed both, hoping to get something similar but healthy. When I pictured this one selection (label was lost) in greenhouse, with tight closed buds, I supposed that it is some of ancyrensis forms. Yesterday I brought it inside and when flowers opened, I was so pleasantly surprised for its black stigma and perfect form. I even was a little doubtful - may be it is some 'Sunspot' which escaped fireplace, but comparing with old pictures of original Sunspot, I found that flower tube in Sunspot is greyish green striped, but in this seedling it is deep purple. Now remain to hope that it will be good increaser, too.

In greenhouse blooms Galanthus transcaucasicus from Iran, too.


Saturday, 18 January 2020 05:51

Another selection from Crocus gembosii with striped flowers - 19-03

and Sternbergia fischeriana - spring blooming species from Armenia.

The last two pictures are Iris reticulata sensu lato - the first from Turkey nr, Tunceli, the second from Iran. Both certainly different species.

Friday, 17 January 2020 05:56

Yesterdays few hours of sun almost opened some crocus flowers without bringing them inside. One of such was Crocus atticus collected just near city border of Athens. Another pictured in greenhouse was selection from Crocus gembosii 19-04 with intensively brown striped flower segments outside. But on our kitchens windowsil I forced opening of some crocuses, too. Here pictures of very beautiful species published by me - Crocus sakaltutanensis. It is so special for its very slender flowers with comparatively narrow flower segments, that was noted as different from first blooming in my collection (it was collected wild long after blooming).

Friday, 17 January 2020 05:36
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