hydrurga's picture

Yellow Crocus (Crocus x stellaris)

Observed: 14th April 2013 By: hydrurgahydrurga’s reputation in Plantshydrurga’s reputation in Plantshydrurga’s reputation in Plantshydrurga’s reputation in Plants
Yellow Crocus (Crocus x stellaris)
Yellow Crocus (Crocus x stellaris)
Yellow Crocus (Crocus x stellaris)
Yellow Crocus (Crocus x stellaris)
Yellow Crocus (Crocus x stellaris)
Description:

Found growing in semi-wild location near habitat, so likely escapee. 2 ids, 3 comments.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

hydrurga's picture

Crocus x stellaris

Thanks lavateraguy. So that I can understand this correctly, are you saying that we can't distinguish Crocus x. stellaris from C. flavus, and thus we can't tell which of these this plant is? if that's the case, shouldn't we just go with the accepted Crocus flavus rather than the unresolved (according to the Plant List) C. x stellaris? Sorry for the naïvety of my question.

Pete
www.leptonyx.com/nature/

lavateraguy's picture

Crocus x stellaris

I looked at the literature last year, and Crocus x stellaris seems to be a perfectly good name (even if there are two cytotypes). I presume that it's unresolved in The Plant List (which I thought was pretty good on monocots) because it was omitted from their one of their sources, perhaps because it's a (horticultural?) hybrid.

The Plant List has many errors (even if it's better than any other single source); you shouldn't take it as gospel.

Stace says that most garden and escaped plants of the flavus-stellaris-angustifolius group in Britain are stellaris, so that would make it the most likely identification.

Stace doesn't tell us how to distinguish the taxa. However, it is possible to distinguish the taxa by counting chromosomes (8 in flavus, 10 or 14 in stellaris and 12 in angustifolius), and also by morphology (but I have had to dig into my files to find the details).

My reference is Orgaard et al, The Hybrid Origin of Two Cultivars of Crocus (Iridaceae) Analysed by Molecular Cytogenetics included Genomic Southern and in situ Hybridisation, Annals of Botany 76: 253-263 (1995). This gives images and descriptions of the 4 taxa, and your plant matches the diploid cytotype of Crocus x stellaris - Crocus flavus lacks the brown feathering on the tepals, and Crocus angustifolius has more prominent feathering. The triploid cytotype of Crocus x stellaris is close to Crocus flavus, and would be hard to distinguish in the field.

hydrurga's picture

Re: Crocus x stellaris

I doff my hat to you lavateraguy - that's incredibly detailed and useful information. Many thanks indeed for taking the time to let me know.

Pete
www.leptonyx.com/nature/