Delphinium luteum

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 28 Apr 2005 22:17:46 PDT

I too am curious if any of the Delphiniums I gave the BX made it.

I planted a number of my native Delphiniums in my garden a few years ago 
and some of them are returning every year and increasing and others have 
disappeared. They are surviving with very little water during their summer 
dormancy. Delphinium luteum is doing very well as is D. hesperium, D. 
nudicaule and D. parryi. D. nudicaule is now appearing in spots where it 
reseeded as well (pathways, etc.). Several times I've tried D. variegatum 
in the ground and it has only lasted a year each time. D. cardinale got 
eaten and the second time that happened did not resprout. The ones that are 
doing the best are the ones that grow in my county naturally or in coastal 
counties in California.

I continue to try new species that are not mountain species that would 
spend their winter under snow when I get a chance with seed and when I have 
enough blooming size some of them go in the ground to trial. I really love 
them. My experience has been they transplant better if you grow them in a 
container for a couple of years until the rootstock is bigger before you 
put them out. I've two more new species about to bloom in the ground now 
and they make nice rock garden plants as they aren't very tall, but time 
will tell whether they return next year.

Last week my husband and two of our friends spent seven plus days driving 
around mostly the central part of California looking for flowers. We knew 
we were too late for the desert and other places like Carrizo Plain. We had 
planned to go there, but a telephone call before we left revealed we were 
too late. Someone sent me the url below with this text: "the East side of 
Carrizo plains in the Tremblor range, orange & yellow daisies and blue 
phacelia". I recommend you click on it even if the plants aren't geophytes 
as the picture is rather amazing.…

In spite of missing the desert shows and Carrizo we found a lot of 
spectacular combinations of flowers and many geophytes and were very 
satisfied with all we saw. Every single day we found Dichelostemma 
capitatum (it is indeed widespread) and every day we found some kind of 
Delphinium in bloom. Figuring out which turned out to be fruitless in many 
cases and photographing them in focus wasn't easy either. The Jepson Manual 
which we had along has an impossible Delphinium key. The other geophytes 
that we had questions about were all the Alliums we saw. Since they often 
require you to look at the seed coat (if intact) with a microscope we were 
rather limited since we weren't digging bulbs. I hope to be able to write a 
bit about some of the things we saw and add some habitat pictures of some 
of the geophytes to the wiki: many Alliums, one Brodiaea species, five 
Triteleia species, one Fritillaria, multiple Delphiniums, several 
Dichelostemmas, and a number of Calochortus to name a few.

Mary Sue

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