What's Blooming Now--TOW

Paul Tyerman ptyerman@ozemail.com.au
Fri, 30 Apr 2004 05:43:19 PDT
Howdy All,

I'm not very active on the list now-a-days due to continuing ill health but
I thought I'd chime in with a "What's Blooming Now" report for here in
Canberra, Australia.  We're still suffering badly from drought with around
2 months since we had any registerable rain (we had 8mm on the 6th of
March).  Normally our autumn rains would start in late March or early April
but there has been a complete failure of them this year which is
devastating given how bad our water situation is after the last few years
of lower rainfall.  If we don't get rain soon then we're going to be in
serious trouble next summer, so here's hoping for some decent rain soon!!
On to what is blooming now .....

The first of the Galanthus are flowering now which is wonderful.  G.
peshmenii has been out for a couple of weeks and G. reginae-olgae has
started this week as well.  Numerous Crocus species are in flower already
such as goulimyi, hardiaticus, speciosus 'Oxonian', longiflorus,
laevigatus, nudiflorus, erotinus ssp salzmanii and pulchellus (which is a
full 2 months later than normal this year).  Also flowering now is Crocus
sativus (the saffron crocus) which is wonderful as it has skipped the last
year or two.  Quite a few flowers this year in both pots and the ground
which is lovely to see as the bright saffron threads stand out so well.
There are also a few otehr autumn and early winter crocus starting to
emerge but not close to flowering as yet.

The nerines have all been putting on a good display this year.  The species
N. bowdenii is starting to open a few early flowers right now (which N.
bowdenii 'Manina Forest Form' has already been open for a fortnight and is
113cm tall which is pretty amazing) and N. filifolia is in full bloom.
Various hybrid nerines are in flower or bud now but there are a few that
don't appear to be going to flower this year which is a shame.  N. undulata
is just about to open its first flowers (second year of flowering for me
from seed I purchased from Rachel at Silverhill a few years ago) and is a
delightfully delicate nerine that I just adore!! <grin>  N. flexuosa 'Alba'
is sending up buds and will put on its usual display shortly.

The last of the dahlias are still in flower (pretty badly hit by the heat
and dry, even with regular watering it just isn't the same) and the tree
dahlias (imperialis, excelsa and cultivars) are just about to open just in
time to be destroyed by the first frosts which are due any time now.  Last
year our first frosts delayed until June so you just never know what will
happen this year.  If current trends continue though I'd expect our first
frost within the next week to 10 days or so.

Various Cyclamens are in flower or bud.  Late C. hederifolium are still
blooming as well as some persicums, plus there are buds on some of the
coums, purpurascens and the odd flower still holding on on intaminatum.  So
many other cyclamens are shooting as well though, so I figure there's buds
down amongst the leaves on a lot of them as well (mirabile, parvifolium,
cyprium, libanoticum and cilicicum to name a few.  The leaves on most of
these are worth it even when not in flower, so this time of year is a joy
both from seeing things shooting and knowing they'll flower soon and having
the assorted wonderful leaves on so many of the cyclamen.

There's still a few of the species geraniums in flower which add a bit of
colour, plus a number of different salvias, annual morning glory, Dicentra
macrocarpum (still holding on with a few flowers now having been in flower
since around November).  Clematis cirrhosa varieties such as 'Lansdown
Jem', 'Freckles', 'Wisley Cream' and 'Balearicum' are all in flower to
varying amounts and a few very late flowers are still around on some of the
jackmanii hybrids as well (they've flowered at odd times all summer long
due to our strange weather).  

Hypoxis stellata is just opening its first few buds (VERY late this year)
and Polyxena longituba is putting on the best display it has ever done
(Mary Sue I think I can finally understand why you actually like it..... it
has never flowered like this for me before with virtually a solid mass of
flowers just above ground level with leaves poking through.  Very pretty I
have to say for the first time ever about this species and I definitely
have to re-evaluate my thoughts on it.  I figured you'd be happy to hear
this <grin>).  Haemanthus albiflos is flowering now and I am carefully
applying pollen I saved from my H. coccineus when they were in flower a
month or so ago (harvesting seed of them at the moment) and I am hoping to
successfully manage to get seeds and end up with varying shades of pink
hybrid offspring (one can but hope!!?).  Massonia depressa is starting to
think about budding at the moment so it shouldn't be too long now.

Trillium noses are sitting at ground level, awaiting the correct time to
come into growth.  They may only still be there at ground level but they're
a nice reminder of the fact that they're there.  Hellebores are just
starting to send up their first buds on some of the earlier plants, but
they're all a way off flowering yet.  I'm sure there are numerous things
I've forgotten but it gives you all a pretty good idea of what is in flower
for me here at the moment down in this part of the Southern Hemisphere in
late autumn.  It has been great to hear what everyone else around the list
has flowering in their various parts of the world.


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia.  USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9

Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus,
Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about
anything else that doesn't move!!!!!

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