the next daffodil book

May 20, 2008
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Categories: General, Publications and Resources

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Dear Donna and Clay and Nancy and Everyone,

  My thoughts for now are that about Daffodils one can write another chapter in an ongoing saga, but not a definitive book.  My idea of a DEFINITIVE book is Matt Bishop’s (also John Grimshaw’s and Aaron Davis’s) Snowdrops:  A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus, paired with Aaron P Davis, The Genus Galanthus.  It’s true that other Galanthus have been introduced since, but not so many as to obsolesce those books.

  I think Michael Jefferson-Brown saw it that way, and his approach partly addresses Donna’s question.  His Narcissus (Batsford, 1991) was the culmination of several books, and one encounters varieties from the perspective of how they came to be bred and who bred them.  Underlying the plant descriptions is a story of breeders and their work.

  The buds of my Hypoxis hirsuta are now a little more than half a finger high (the leaves are about halfway up the back of my wrist);  they look like it’ll be June till they flower.  I could be misled about that.  On thriving at the school and in the high planter but not the trough:  they look and initially act like they ought to be easy, and indeed they are in many sites.  I have only observed a few wild populations.  They tend to be near rocky banks of streams.  Rocks suggest they don’t withstand competing neighbors.  There are probably other things relevant to success which I don’t know.  A Rhodohypoxis x Hypoxis cross has been made, but not a Rhodohypoxis baurii x Hypoxis hirsuta cross.  I failed to put the pollen of one onto the stigma of the other, so I failed from step one.

Best,

Don

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