This page is a place where people can post pictures of bulbs they are having trouble identifying. Anyone who thinks they can help figure out these plants, please send a note to the pbs list for discussion. Items identified will be moved to the appropriate page once we figure out what they are. New items appear at the top of the page.
Kathleen Sayce would like help identifying a plant flowering in a pot labeled crinum, which died. She describes it as having lovely cool pink flowers on long drooping stems and grass-like leaves. One suggestion is Ixia rapunculoides.
Barbara Weintraub says I bought a bunch - maybe a dozen or so - unnamed rain lilies on eBay. The seller had no idea of their identity and said they’d been in the ground for 10-12 years. The plants are robust and bloomed at the peak of summer. The flowers are large, with overlapping pointed tepals, bright pink over white, and with prominent longitudinal veining. The flowers are one to a stem, pretty much pointing upward. The stamens were not easy to differentiate, appearing as a tangle in the throat. I did not dissect a flower to count them because I really didn’t want to sacrifice even one of these gorgeous blooms! Even after looking through Zephyranthes and Habranthus in the PBS wiki, I can’t figure out in which genus this one belongs.
Bruce Bayer says 'Here is a picture of a Wurmbea that grows here at Fisherhaven, South Africa (a bit of a threatened bulb paradise). The id I get is W. stricta but I am rather doubtful while another id has been W spicata!' Can anyone identify this plant?
Garry Koenigsberg wrote 'I bought an onion-sized bulb at the San Francisco Arboretum years ago, but lost track of the name. The plants multiply at a ridiculous rate and thrive on neglect. The leaves are about a foot tall, and the stems a bit taller, bearing several florets. Each has four white and green petals that open around four more petals that remain attached at the top.'
Rimmer de Vries said this pot of seedlings from the PBS SX sale in Jan 2014 as Romulea monticola (seed started 3FEB 2014) finally bloomed today (27th March 2016) under bright light. it has been in the same wet peat based mix all along. It has very long leaves about 20" or more long , 2 mm wide grooved somewhat flattened oval, 2 mm wide. the corm is small has no obvious tunic after a swish in a bucket of water and sat at the bottom of the pot. The pink blooms are about 2-3” tall and 1.5 to 2.p cm diameter, it looks like the photo of Romulea engleri in the wiki. Can you confirm the identify? (scale in corm photo in cm).
Cynthia W Mueller wondered what species of lily was producing bulbils see list discussion.
June 28, 2015, I am sure this is a species of Piperia. The leaves were withered, the plant was about 12" tall. There was no discernible scent, I don't know if it has a scent at night. Found under cedar, pine, madrone, and Douglas fir trees in Rogue River, OR. Photo by Travis Owen.
Identified as Piperia transversa
June 4, 2015, "Just in the past few days while collecting seed pods of Erythronium hendersonii, I noticed a few small groups of these small white lily-like flowers. The plants were no taller than 5", and the leaves have dried and were disintegrated. The flowers were about 1/8" wide, wider at the mouth, and less than 3/8" long. When I crushed a floret there was the strong smell of garlic, leading me to think it is an Allium. I would rule out Triteleia hyacinthina because it lacks the appendages, and T. hyacinthina grows here too and is much larger and has a much different flower morphology." -Travis Owen - Identified as Allium bolanderi var. mirabile
This is some species of Chlorogalum. It grows in Rogue River, OR in a massive roadside colony. I am not sure if it is a subspecies of Chlorogalum pomeridianum or perhaps Chlorogalum angustifolium . The leaves are relatively straight with a mild waviness not unlike corn. Close up, the leaves are vaguely ribbed with faint white lines down the midrib. The inflorescence's are taller than wide, three or four feet tall, but I have never seen the flowers open. When I dug a few small plants from the roadside, I did not see any bulb tunic, though there may have been a few remaining fibers. Photos by Travis Owen.
Brad M writes, "this variegated Hymenocallis has been grown in Australia for many years. It's rather tropical in its growth, and stunts in cold weather. I cannot decide if its caribaea or littoralis Do you know which one is more likely here ?"
P M Mathai writes "I wonder if you could help in identification of a Ledebouria from an area around Graaff Reinet, in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Here is a photo of the Ledebouria from the old Shooting Range (taken over by housing developments, many years back) of Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa."
Travis Owen asked "I was curious if you had any clue what this was?. I guessed either Ledebouria or Dactylorhiza but internet searches haven't yielded the exact leaf pattern. I have not seen it in flower. I received it at a local plant sale labeled "house plant" so no help there, except possibly hinting at a low frost tolerance." Identified as Ledebouria socialis.
Photos of Rhodophiala from Pamela Slate; she says "I found the record that says 'Granatiflora' - it is a much bigger plant, red-flowered, with a much taller peduncle and flowers at least third larger than bifida. Not having seen the plant before, I'm unsure whether it's correctly identified and I'm now sorry I didn't take measurements. The seed from Alberto (BX171) was grown by a commercial propagator friend and the tag could easily have been incorrect. Flowers did not show the wide, blunt tepals as the flower on the wiki".
Photos from Pamela Slate who says "Thinking it must be some Habranthus sp. but ID tags are long gone. The leaves are about the same width as Habranthus spp. - a cm or so wide - but are lime green. The plant is in flower now in a leafless state with leaves just beginning to emerge, like many rain lilies at this time of year". Identified as Zephyranthes sp. 'Labuffarosea'.
Photos from Travis Owen, Rogue River, OR. who said: "Here is another mystery bulb in the field behind my house in Rogue River, OR. The photos were taken last year in summer as the grasses had all died down and everything was straw colored. The leaves had already died down when it was flowering, but upon inspecting the site in spring this year I believe I located the leaves. They are no wider than 1/4", U-shaped in cross section, two per plant, grass like. The closest look-alike was Brodiaea coronaria, but I'm not confident. Also, the deer were fond of them, standing out in a dry field, purple, so I never found seed capsules." - identified as Brodiaea elegans.
Photos from Travis Owen, Rogue River, OR. who posed the following questions "I have some pictures of what I believe is Triteleia hendersonii, but a unique form with a very faint yellow line on the tepals, instead of purplish brown. It would be nice to get a confirmation on my identification of the species, as I am an amateur. I would also like to share it because it is not a form seen on the wiki. The following two pictures are Triteleia hendersonii, I think. Almost all the specimens I have found in my yard have white anthers, are about 10" tall, and have the same purplish stripes inside the tepals except for one, shown in the photo, which has much paler brownish stripes inside. The leaves, seen in the last picture, are keeled, about 3/8" thick at the base. I want to try to collect seed from these and hopefully grow them in the garden. There aren't too many of them, and I don't dare dig one up. Do you know someone who has experience growing Triteleia from seed?
The last picture I believe is Zigadenus (now Toxicoscordion), but I am not too familiar with this genus. The leaves seemed smaller than T. venonosum, but the flower arrangement and yellow nectaries seemed consistent with the species. The leaves were about 1/4" thick at the base, with one or two short leaves on the stem below the inflorescence. That beetle has been there for about four days, apparently quite content."
Suzanne Vaughan says "This trillium (actually, there are 2 of them, first 4 photos) is different than any I have. I bought it from a nursery in Tennesse. I know that white trilliums begin white and fade to pink. The red and purple bloom as red and purple. But this one, only opened on Wednesday and it opened this color. The petals almost look more like the coloring of a hellebore. The petals started out this shaded, beige, pinkish color. Last photo is a red or purple trillium, not sure, but it starts out this color. Any ideas? Is it just a strange mutation of the red or purple? (but I have 2, as far as I know right now)."
Judy Glattstein asked us to name this blue Corydalis. "It's blue, it's reliable, it is increasing very slowly - and I have no idea as to its identity". "And if anyone would care to suggest when I could move it a few inches further away from the magnolia. It is so happy here I don't want to try a major relocation but it is getting crowded".
Nick de Rothschild asks for identification of this photo, most likely a Gladiolus, taken on a rocky hillside, west facing, on the side of the Skurweburg Mountain in Mpumalanga, South Africa on January 5, 2014. He thinks this may be G. varius.
Jyl Tuck asks for identification of this Eucomis. I started Eucomis bicolor from seed and some bulbs started flowering 3 summers ago. But there had always been a couple of bulbs that appeared different. Last summer I stuck all the bulbs in 1 pot to get a good show and one of the 'different' bulbs flowered. My Eucomis autumnalis and bicolor flowered end of July into August when the 'different' bulb started. As you can see in this picture (bicolor left) the 'different' bulbs (right) leaves are very long, not wavy, with no spots on leaves or stem of flower. I got a fair number of seed from the plant too which should not have crossed. The seeds has sprouted and are growing. Only got a couple seed from the other Eucomis which did not sprout. The way the flowers are arranged on the stem is different and about 18-20 inches tall.
Robert Hoel writes "In early October we were hiking in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains about an hour west of Marrakech when I realized we were in an area where these flowers were all around us. The flower reminds me of a type of Ornithogalum but there was no foliage."
José Luis León de la Luz, an investigator from CIBNOR, has found a Zephranthes in the southern Baja California peninsula which does not resemble the species described for that location. Photo 1 is the unknown species of Zephranthes. Photo 2, for comparison, matches the Z. arenicola described in the Jepson Herbarium sheet UC 115459 and reported in this area. (Z. arenicola is now listed as a synonym of Habranthus arenicola.) The unknown (at left) does not match with Z. longifolia which is reported as a second species in Baja California.
Lachenalia canaliculata G. G. Duncan. Photographs by Steve Walters grown from JAA 639, seed collected west of Calvinia. Flowers started to open in December in the UK (equivalent to June in South Africa) which makes it a relatively early flowerer. This is not a generally accepted species name. The name is descriptive of the channeled, lower inner tepal: "upper two tepals overlapping, lower inner tepal narrower, 2 mm longer, strongly canaliculate". Expert opinion is sought if this is correctly identified.
Nick de Rothschild is unsure if the pendulous plant shown below is Ixia maculata or not. The upright form is for comparison.
Lauw de Jager would like help identifying this plant growing in a neighbor's yard in France for over 20 years. It flowers in May. He thinks it is an Ornithogalum, but would like help with a species name. Two suggestions from the comments are: Camasssia leichtlinii ssp. leichtlinii and Ornithogalum ponticum.
Photo by Jim Duggan of a plant that is being grown under the name Lapeirousia enigmata, a name that does not appear in data bases and does not appear to be a published name. It may have been first offered by Richard Doutt and Bioquest International and later by Jim Duggan and in various seed exchanges. Jim Waddick would like to know if anyone can identify it. Click here to see PBS list posts about Lapeirousia enigmata.
Photo by Jessica Sneeden who is contacting PBS to have this Trillium identified. She saw this in Redwood National Park, California, at the end of March. She suggests this may be Trillium chloropetalum based on comparison with NPS Whats Blooming Now? However, a PBS member wrote T. kurabayashii and/or T. angustipetalum cover any red trillium that might be in Redwood National Park, would rule out T. chloropetalum. Calflora pages T. chloropetalum and T. angustipetalum show where specimens have been collected.
Nicky Ross of Cape Town asks for help identifying this plant: "The bulb has popped up in my garden, and doing extremely well in a flower bed. It is spreading and looking very healthy. I am not sure if I have identified properly. The green leaves are long and narrow and do not start from the base of the plant but further up. I think it may be Hymenocallis littoralis but I need verification! The ruler is 30 cm long. I can’t remember when the lilies flowered, I think it was Feb/March." (Note that Nicky is in the southern hemisphere, so the plants would have bloomed in late summer or fall in the north.)
Any thoughts on their identity?
Belinda Greyling of Gauteng, South Africa, reports that this is Hymencallis narcissiflora. Thanks, Belinda!
Leo Martin's friend Doug Dawson visited South Africa in May 2013. He took this photo of an unidentified Oxalis. Doug writes "I took the photo on May 13, 2013 less than a mile west of the N7 highway and Garies." This is about halfway between Vanrhynsdorp and Springbok. Diana Chapman has identified this Oxalis as O. orbicularis. (trifoliate leaves with a brown stripe down the center of each leaflet).
Dee Foster posted this picture in the hope of ascertaining if it is virused?