Sunday, September 20, 2015

Colchicums, an Esther Bartning homage

Esther Bartning's plate from Gartenschönheit, October 1938

The ones in the top row, left to right, are identified as 'The Giant', 'Lilac Wonder', speciosum 'Album' and cilicicum
The ones in the second row are identified as 'Violet Queen', 'Waterlily' and 'General Grant'.
The ones in the third row are identified as 'Agrippinum', autumnale 'Alboplenum' and speciosum.
The ones in the fourth row are identified as Crocus speciosus albus (but see comments below) and 'Danton'.

An approximation done with flowers from today's garden

The ones in the first row are 'The Giant', 'Lilac Wonder', a substitute for speciosum 'Album', and cilicicum.
The ones in the second row (my row slants more than Bartning's) are 'Violet Queen', 'Waterlily' and a substitute for 'General Grant', Leonid Bondarenko's 'World Champion Cup'.
The ones in the third row are 'Agrippinum', autumnale 'Alboplenum' and speciosum.
The ones in the fourth row are autumale 'Album' and a substitute for 'Danton', the otherwise  handsome 'Disraeli' looking a bit tired after a week or so in the refrigerator.

Colchicum speciosum 'Album' has not bloomed here yet - the buds are visible, but they are not moving. If I can keep the rest of the blooms in good condition until it blooms, I might re-do the image later.

If 'Danton' still exists, I'm not aware of a source. In the text which accompanied the Gartenschönheit  plate, Karl Foerster  describes 'Danton' as "the most magnificent of the deep violet colored giants".

'General Grant' is another hybrid I have never grown or seen offered.

In Bartning's plate the small white flowers in the lower left hand corner are identified as Crocus speciosus albus  - the name is now formatted as  Crocus speciosus  'Albus'. At first glance, they do look like that plant. But count the stamens: crocuses have only three, the plants depicted show more than that. I've substituted Colchicum autumnale 'Album'; perhaps that was the original intention.

For more about Esther Bartning, see here:

http://www.bartning.name/EstherNiedermeierBartning1906-1987.html

Try a right click to get the prompt to translate.





1 comment:

Carol Allen said...

Very cool, Jim! Thanks for posting