Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gymnospermium altaicum

This odd looking little plant, Gymnospermium altaicum, is an interesting departure from the usual run of "bulbs". It's not closely related to any of the usual bulbs; it's not even a monocot. What it is is perhaps even more surprising: it's a member of the Berberidaceae. It grows from a round, corky corm and requires careful protection from summer moisture.

There are other species of Gymnospermium, and there are several related genera; and few will probably ever be grown outside the collections of confirmed collectors.

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