Wordless Wednesday – Sternberg’s Daffodil or the Biblical Lily of the Field?

Sternbergia lutea
Sternbergia lutea
Count Kaspar Moritz von Sternberg of Prague (1761 – 1838)

13 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday – Sternberg’s Daffodil or the Biblical Lily of the Field?

  1. That is lovely. How big is it – difficult to gauge scale. Is it difficult to grow?

    • The flower is about 5cm, about the size of a big crocus, and the entire flowering stem is about 10cm. the leaves gradually elongate and will eventually reach about 20cm long. Easy to grow if you can provide the right conditions; well drained soil, not too rich, plaenty of chipping mixed in and on the surface. It need a dry summer with plenty of sunshine – think hot dry Greek mountains. I tend to grow it in pots, but I have grown it outdoors and it appears to be frost hardy, but it must not get too wet. If it like you it will multiply rapidly, but if it doesn’t get a good summer it will not flower – I’ve only the one flower this year!

      • Thanks so much for all that information. I will add it to my spread sheet and hope to try these soon.

        • A pleasure. It is always worth experimenting, but not a bad strategy to try some in a pot first.

          • That is a good idea. I have requested an email from ‘Crocus’ next summer when they are sending them out again.I guess they don’t send them out in flower.

          • If send me an e-mail next spring, I’m sure I can find you a handful of small bulbs whem I’m repotting.

          • Thank you so much, that would be lovely.

  2. A pretty little thing – and where did Count von whose-it discover it growing (as one assumes he did)?

    • Sternberg was a Czech paleobotanist, and although he wrote a treatise on saxifrages, I’m not sure he went roaming round the eastern Mediterranean looking for plants. The genus Sternbergia was named in his honour by Franz de Paula Adam Norbert Wenzel Ludwig Valentin von Waldstein (1759–1823 Austrian soldier, explorer and naturalist) and Pál Kitaibel (1757–1817 Hungarian botanist and chemist) who described the genus in 1804. However, this lovely little bulb has been around for a lot longer than the early 19th century and whatever its taxonomic pedigree, it is a delight and one I have grown for the past 20 years or more.

      • That’s a lot of irrelevant (but interesting!) history for such a little flower… 😉

        • Life is full of irrelevant trivia, but it is all part of the rich tapestery of knowledge. That pompous and pretentious rubbish means that my mind is frequently stuffed full of useless junk facts. However, you never know when it might be useful!

          • Or who you might feel the need to impress … 😉

          • Well you never know who’s listening to our conversations…..

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