Pictures added to the wiki/West Coast Update

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 28 Mar 2004 23:11:16 PST
Dear All,

I add pictures to the wiki all the time, but don't know whether people care 
if I announce it or not since when I do say something has been added it is 
rare if I hear from anyone about it. But I'd like to announce a few of the 
things I have added in the last couple of weeks.

First of all I have added pictures of Calochortus umbellatus which is 
native to the San Francisco Bay area, often the first to bloom for me (in 
winter) and one of the longest blooming Calochortus for me as well. It is 
small, white and has a lavender stripes or spots at the base and is nicely 
hairy. It doesn't have bulbils like Calochortus uniflorus, and has many 
flowers blooming on the stem.

I also added pictures of the Calochortus uniflorus I grow that I collected 
seed of from a local population. It looks a lot like C. umbellatus but has 
slightly bigger flowers and forms bulbils. I added pictures last year of 
ones that are strikingly marked. The ones from this year are less 
spectacular, but have delicate purple spots and are nicely marked on the 
outside. Interestingly the ones in my containers often bloom months before 
the ones in the ground on undeveloped land at a slightly lower elevation 
and only a couple miles away.…

I also added a picture of my first ever Clivia to bloom grown from seed 
offered on the IBS list five years ago by Charles Gorenstein. I didn't have 
a clue about growing Clivias, but he said he had seed of yellow ones he 
would share and sent me two seeds. The second one is going to bloom too. 
The tissue cultured Clivia (Vico Gold from Sir Peter Smithers) I got the 
same year hasn't bloomed yet, but it is alive and looking better each year.…

Our Ixia wiki page was very bare so I have been adding Ixia pictures from 
last year and this.…
My husband says I have made that mustard colored Ixia monadelpha look 
better than he thinks it looks. It is only open for part of the day and I 
often was going to photograph it and went to do it and the flowers had 
already closed. So he may not have seen it at its best. Today opening for 
the first time from Silverhill Seed was Ixia pumilio. When I tried to 
verify that it was what it was supposed to be, I got really confused since 
it is described as brick red in the Color Encyclopedia and old rose in the 
Flora of South Africa Ixia revision. This plant looks orange to me and not 
even a bright orange, more of a salmon color. It is a color you'd expect 
from a Tritonia. It does look like a plant that Dash has on his page and 
that Andrew Harvie has added to the ABA site, both colored like mine. Any 
Ixia experts out there? I spent a long time trying to use the two keys I 
have, but there were just too many words I didn't know and I finally gave up.

Also blooming for the first time from seed for me (a long time from initial 
sowing) is Erythronium californicum. I had just about given up. I've so 
enjoyed them.…

I got seed of Drimiopsis maculata from Rhoda and Cameron in Sept 2001 when 
I visited them. It bloomed for the first time last year and was one of 
those flowers where you say the leaves are really nice. None of the leaves 
had died off the first year I grew it, but some died off this winter (one 
remained) and the new ones are even better, nicely spotted.…

I've added a lot more too, but that's enough to report for now.

Last week when Jim McKenney threw out the challenge I thought I had a lot 
of things blooming in my garden that I could have talked about. Because of 
our almost month of dry warm weather I have things blooming much earlier so 
will have natives and South Africans blooming at the same time. Even my 
Calochortus venustus is spiking and there are Triteleias and Dichelostemmas 
blooming and my first Brodiaea and Delphiniums and Alliums. The Babianas 
were wonderful and B. villosa continues to be awesome. The Geissorhizas, 
one of my favorites, are nicely blooming, as are Sparaxis, Tritonias, 
Gladiolus, Lapeirousias, not to mention the last of the Tulipas (linifolia 
and batalini), and nice Lachenalias open every day. Moraeas and Gladiolus 
have been quite nice too and this past week the Homerias have opened as 
well (everywhere). As usual as you wander through my garden you are 
enveloped in the wonderful smell of Freesia alba. I probably can't match 
Jim, but I didn't think we were competing. I'm fine with not having 
raccoons (which break into houses here and make terrible messes) and want 
to keep the squirrels on the other side of my deer fence. And I wish those 
jays would stay out of my pots! But I've been enjoying all the insects that 
are pollinating flowers, some of the nice spiders and the tree frogs. I saw 
one today peering out at me from a gap in a paver where I had placed a 
black pot to protect it from baking.

I hope Jim will be adding pictures to the wiki of some of those things he 
talked about so we can all see them.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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