Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Blue lawn addendum

OK, who hit the publish button on the FFF blog on Thursday?  Dang, no one else to blame, but my dear readers you will get another installment of blue as a result. While strolling through our blue lawn (Scilla version), someone wanted to know how many plants a blue lawn takes. Well, who knows, thousands and thousands; they been out there reproducing for a long time. So you sort of get used to them everywhere, and then one catches your eye, and TPP said, "That one is different." Closer inspection, i.e., get down to their level, revealed that TPP's sharp botanical eye has not dimmed in the least because indeed, among the many Scilla, was still another genus that is also bright blue, Chionodoxa, glory of the snow.  This genus is (or was, the former lily family has been in upheaval.) placed close to Scilla, but they are pretty easy to tell apart.  Not having planted this volunteer, an unconscious gift from some neighbor, the species is uncertain, C. forbesii perhaps, a common cultivar. As can be seen the petals are also bright blue, but some cultivars can be nearly white or purple. Here's the easiest difference; Chionodoxa has dilated stamen filaments, meaning flat, standing side by side making the center of the flowers white.  The flowers also turn upward more, while the flowers of Scilla nod. Glory-of-the-snow can be pretty plentiful, but they never quite get as crowded as squill. And no, TPP isn't checking all the others.

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