One of the most beautiful species. As it’s name suggests it is from the Lebanon where it is quite rare.
A very distinct spring flowering species - one of the my favourites but it's not so easy to manage. It comes well from seed and flowers well when young but I find the plants to dwindle after about 5 years. It has a bad habit in that the leaves turn yellow as it comes into flower, perhaps in preparation for it's summer rest. I don’t know if it does this in the wild or whether it’s a reaction to it getting too hot in the greenhouse. I tried one in the frame where it would be cooler but it has failed to thrive there.
Generally in cultivation it is fairly uniform, although the plants from the Eliot Hodgkin collection are darker with narrower petals. It's also more difficult to grown and I've only got seed from it once and I swapped that with another enthusiast. It's the last plant above. It seems in the wild it is more variable although I don't think there have been any further seed collections.
Some years ago I grew a plant with a very fine leaf, well marked in pink when they first emerged, unfortunately the leaves haven't shown the same pink colouration since.
"Eliot Hodgkin form"
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