Plants in the Garden: About a real WHITE Roscoea purpurea
Started by: Jan De Laet
Although there are several "white" forms of Roscoea purpurea with names as ending with "alba", albiflora" efc., I never saw a plant without streaks or patches of lilac or purple.Go to latest contribution by Jan De Laet, 11 September 2008, 20:54. Go to bottom of this page.
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Several years ago I was lucky to find a completely white Roscoea purpurea in a batch of first time flowering seedlings. As they were grown from seed of my own "normal" plants with no other R. purpurea's bearing white parts in the flower, I suppose that this was a pure chance mutation. Curiously the purple pigment in the pseudostem of the deep bronze/purple parents had been retained, as can be seen on the picture. Meanwhile I got a nice patch of vegetatively propagated plants, but I'm still looking for publications regarding snowwhite specimens. Jill Cowley mentions in her 1982(*) Revision of the genus Roscoea: "Completely white-flowered specimens" (are) "more common in eastern Nepal than elsewhere". In her 2007 book "The Genus Roscoea" a nearly white form from Nepal (fig.20) is described as R. purpurea forma purpurea, but the newly described R. purpurea forma alba (fig.26) is a plant "white with a labellum splashed deep purple..." I should be very grateful to hear if other members of the AGS have already spotted such snowwhite plants.