wildflowers with corms

ConroeJoe@aol.com ConroeJoe@aol.com
Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:06:37 PDT

Liatris don't form bulbs, but they make corms and overwinter nicely out of 
the soil or in the soil.  There are 5-6 (or more) Liatris species that grow 
locally (Montgomery, Harris and adjacent Texas Counties).  I have 2 types growing 
at the back of my lot.  I think one is L. acidota, and the other is L. 
pycnostachya.  Actually, I've never keyed them and am just guessing.  

L. pycnostachya is listed by USDA as a facultative wetland plant in the 
Southeast, but I think L. acidota is more a prairie or upland-type species.  
Whatever they are, they survive soggy conditions for a few weeks each winter and 
endure summer drought, I never water or fertilize them at the back of the lot.  
When I have planted them in a regular flower bed, the L. pycnostachya-like 
species grew tall (4-5 ft.).  But, neglected at the back of my yard,  neither gets 
above 2 ft.  

They germinate easily for me by the outdoor method.  I scatter them on the 
surface of store-bought potting soil in a 1-gallon container (I use soil with 
little or no peat).  Then, I place a bit of soil over them and cover the 
container with window-screen mesh.  I leave them out all winter in sunny position 
(not hot) and by spring they have germinated.  The trick is to watch in spring, 
when they germinate you have to start regular watering.  If I don't put the 
window-screen mesh over the containers, I lose half the soil to splash.  

I have seeds for SASE, please write off-list if you like some.  



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