Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 10 Nov 2003 22:17:28 PST
Dear All,

Thank you Robin for the great introduction.

I joined the Oxalis fan club a number of years ago when Mike Mace shared 
offsets several years later after his wife gave him as a present the IBS 
collection from Michael Vassar bulbs that was offered as a fund raiser. I 
have also bought some from Telos Bulbs every year and traded some from 
other enthusiasts.

I find them hard to beat because of the long bloom and the variety of 
colors and leaves. I love the obtusas and put a couple pictures on the 
Oxalis wiki page of those we saw in mass in the Little Karoo. It was 
dazzling. We saw so many Oxalis in bloom in South Africa this last trip 
which was surprising since many of the Oxalis from that country bloom so 
much earlier.

Another one I think is really beautiful not mentioned yet is Oxalis 
callosa. There are pictures of it on the wiki too. Last year was my first 
year to grow O. goniorhiza. It is very similar to O. versicolor and very 
long blooming (I noted the first bloom last year was in Oct. and the last 
in Feb.) and a winner. Another one that has been spectacular this fall is 
Oxalis polyphylla v. heptaphylla MV 6396. It is pretty even when it is 
closed and looking at it sideways with the light shining through it is also 
a delight. There are pictures of it on the wiki too.

I am also very fond of Oxalis luteola although two of the four I have tried 
to grow have never bloomed for me. The two others are very reliable. Last 
year when I redid two of my raised beds with Alberto's advice, I decided to 
plant Oxalis in two different pots in my African bed. I was curious if they 
would come back since I had promised myself not to replant the bed this 
year and most people recommend replanting Oxalis every day. Blooming today 
in the garden in the raised beds is one of the Oxalis luteolas. The other 
one was an obtusa and it has sprouted again. Below it the one blooming today.

I do have one question. My Oxalis have been very slow to come up this fall. 
I planted most of them before I went to South Africa not wanting to have to 
do it when I returned. It has been my observation that ones that have been 
out of soil and sprouted come up very quickly once you have potted them up. 
In fact I recently received some from Uli that arrived looking a bit 
smashed. I think they all had roots and I believe almost all of them are 
now up and not showing any ill effects. Contrast that with maybe ten pots 
of other Oxalis that aren't showing any life and others that have only come 
up in the last week or two. When I reported about the talk in South Africa 
people were saying they weren't dormant long and would immediately start 
growing with moisture. Any clues what is going on? I am tempted to unpot 
them all next year and not replant them until I see roots.

By the way it might be of interest to everyone that Oxalis is the most 
popular genus page we have on the wiki, having gotten more hits than any of 
the others.

Mary Sue

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