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Gagea

A plant genus of the Liliaceae (Lily family). Named after the botanist Thomas Gage.

There are two species native to the British Isles in the genus.

Genus name citation: Salisb.

FloralImages:

Gagea bohemica

Some notes on Gagea bohemica

One site in Wales for the UK. It is abundant there and overlooked apparently by Victorian botanists who explored the area keenly (but probably in the summer months only).

Grows abundantly in thin soil among moss etc on igneous rocks. The site is south (to SE) facing and there is a strong likelihood of summer dessication which is thought to give the Gagea a competitive edge.

Wiry, narrow (<1 mm) basal leaves. Wider stem leaves and bracts on those few plants that actually flower.

There is some doubt whether the Welsh population can set viable seed and propagation is clearly almost entirely vegetative. Samples have been taken for the site (under licence of course) and are being cultivated and investigated to find out more about the plant.

A paper by F M Slater states that the plant has two main bulbs in a single outer tunic and that in most plants flowering stems are replaced by tightly packed bulbils. He also says that one plant with capsules has been observed but was grazed before ripening.

Gagea lutea


Acknowledgments

Andrew Ferguson, Reserve warden, conversations at the site.

Gagea Bohemica; F. M. Slater; The Journal of Ecology, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 535-546 doi:10.2307/2261128