Bloom Sequence

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 19 Apr 2004 09:34:42 PDT
Dear Ken,

I am always happy to have people volunteer for new projects on the wiki as 
at this stage I don't have time to volunteer for any additional tasks 
myself. When Jane made the wiki Reference page we were going to link it to 
the individual genus pages with the Reference to use for that genus. She 
and I have done a few of them, but most are undone as we are both busy.

Bloom sequence, although an interesting idea and probably very useful for 
having a long sequence of blooms, would be a very challenging project. For 
one thing bloom sequence of the same species varies by environment. I find 
when I am out hiking every week that my native bulbs (Mendocino-Sonoma 
Coast) can be found in different habitats in bloom months apart. An area 
that is dryer and more exposed will often have flowers in bloom before the 
shadier wetter areas where bloom is often extended. Bulbs grown from my 
wild populations often bloom much sooner in my containers (sometimes months 

We have often tracked the appearance of Amaryllis belladonna flowers on 
this list and there is a wide range no doubt influenced by temperatures and 
rainfall. Roy Sachs was once going to investigate what made the difference 
or at least look at a couple of factors. I don't know if he did. Bloom time 
in Oregon for a lot of things will not be the same time as it would be in 
Southern California in many instances for example.

Some of the bulbs I grow are very reliable in when they bloom. Others may 
have a several month variation from year to year. Leucojum aestivum, a long 
blooming very satisfactory bulb in my garden, some years is in bloom as 
early as December. This year it didn't bloom I think until February.

Second, the same species that are grown from seeds from different areas in 
the wild also bloom at different times in the same garden. At least that 
has been my observation. Triteleia ixioides and T. laxa are two examples. I 
grow different clones. The former may be in bloom as early as February and 
as late as June in my garden.

When I add information to the wiki I often add bloom time (either the date 
it is blooming for me) or general information like, "this bulb blooms late 
winter to spring" for example. I think this is helpful information and 
encourage others to add this to their text when they add pictures. It is 
possible, but very cumbersome to figure out when a picture has been added 
to the wiki, but even if you took the time to figure that out you don't 
know if it was added when it was blooming or at another time later so this 
information would be very useful to people using the wiki as a reference.

It would probably be possible to plot the bloom sequence of genera with 
only a couple of species, but something like Gladiolus would be a 
nightmare. Ken, if you'd like to try doing a favorite genus to see how this 
might be done, please do and let us know. It might inspire others to do 
this for other genera.

Next week as we discuss the topic of the week (what is blooming now) I 
expect if very many participate we will see bulbs announced as blooming one 
place that are long gone somewhere else and haven't opened in other areas.

Mary Sue

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