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Galanthus alpinus var. alpinus

5th March 2018

Galanthus alpinus has a complicated taxonomic history and the current arrangement has emerged tentatively from the mists of time and text. The names G.alpinus, G. caucasicus and G. bortkewitschianus are clearly allied, possibly overlapping entities.
At present G. alpinus and G. caucasicus seem to be (possibly partial) descriptions of the same taxon and in that case, the name G. alpinus has priority.
Under that arrangement G. alpinus is a widespread but uncommon species from the Caucasus, Transcaucasus and adjacent Russia and Turkey. Galanthus bortkewitschianus is a sterile triploid plant found only in a single relatively tiny population in Russia. It is now treated as a distinct (and unusual) variation within a larger species, as G. alpinus var. bortkewitschianus. As a direct consequence all of the variability within plants across the rest of the range are referred to G. alpinus var. alpinus.
This is the one I grow. There probably aren't many clones in cultivation so it may be the only one anybody grows, who knows. Almost certainly it has been selected as the clone that responds best in cultivation in the UK so it may not be entirely representative of the species.