Gigantic Scilla Maritima bulb

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Pontus Wallstén, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Pontus Wallstén

    Pontus Wallstén Member

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    Hello everyone.....from a snow covered garden in switzerland.

    I thought that the following pictures of a bulb (of a scilla or urginea maritima) that I just aquired today would interest quite a few of you.
    I bought it at a local garden centre, where they had only a few (see first set of pics).
    It is litteraly HUMONGOUS, they stated that its circumference was over 60 cm, and in my opinion, it must weigh at least over 10 kilos or more. it had already started growing leaves, so i'd better plant it quick!!. It flowers in summer, with a 150 cm tall, white flower spike.- looking forward to see it flower!...and looking forward to any comments on it!.
    Pontus
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I have to agree - that is massive. Do you want to speculate on why? I'm somewhat aware of the answer, but I think it might be interesting for others to read an account.
     
  3. Pontus Wallstén

    Pontus Wallstén Member

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    I suppose that the massive size of this bulb could perhaps be explained by its original location. That is to say the south of France and Spain, alog the coast, were summer temperatures can be very high indeed, and to be able to withstand 3 months of a very dry climate, they need alot of reserves not to dry out.
    What should also be pointed out is that they have very thick and fairly hard bulb tunics, in many layers. This also helps them to withstand drought.
    I would also like to add that these bulbs are highly toxic, and were used in the past to make rat poison. they also have very fat, fleshy deep roots, which enables them to search the required moisture during the summer. I have heard that they need a long period of dryness in the summer to enduce flowering, however, I'm not sure if this info is correct...any help would be nice.!.But i do know that they flower suddenly, at the end of august, with the coming of summer rains.

    any other ideas on why it is so big??

    Pontus
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks - I assumed it had something to do with summer-dry. I don't have anything more to add.

    It should be noted that if someone else is looking for more information on this plant, you'll have more luck searching for the scientific name, Urginea maritima.
     
  5. Pontus Wallstén

    Pontus Wallstén Member

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    yes that is true, even though it had ben called scilla maritima for a long time, its scientific name was changed a few years back to Urginea Maritima.
    I also know that there is a variety with a slightly smaller, yellowish or olive green bulb.

    pontus
     
  6. Harry Hill

    Harry Hill Member

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    Urginea in Crete

    Attached are some photos I took of Urginea at the end of a hike through Samaria Gorge on the south coast of Crete, mid-October 2003. Surprisingly, there were seed pods containing ripe seed and also newly blooming stems, bulbs that were dormant and bulbs with green leaves - all within sight of each other and at the end of long, hot & dry summer.
     

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  7. Pontus Wallstén

    Pontus Wallstén Member

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    Re: Gigantic Scilla Maritima bulb/ news

    Here are some photos of the scilla (urginea) maritima bulb which I sent pics of earlier.
    With the coming of spring, it has started to produce many large leaves, (however, they are smaller than I thought).
    People who have seen it say that it looks like a giant pineapple!
    ....up to you to judge from these attatched photos!

    Pontus.
     

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