Oxalis in gloom

Matt Mattus mmattus@charter.net
Sun, 10 Jul 2005 18:25:36 PDT
I grow about 35 species of winter blooming Oxalis and what I have found is
that sometimes it is the heat that triggers the blossoms to open, or at
least here in New England, where I grow mine in a glass house kept at 45 D
(at night mostly) and on sunny days it may rise to about 90 F.  in January.

 I like to photograph them, and it seems that it is a combination of both
heat and sun, since I bring some pots into the house into a north window and
they open, but on cold cloudy days, they never open. In the morning (like I
have time to watch this, but somehow I make time on Saturdays!) - I notice
that ven though the bright winter sun is hitting the plants, they don't seem
to open until the air temperatures reach about 70F.

Matt Mattus
Worcester, Massachusetts
Zone 5b

On 7/10/05 5:44 PM, "diana chapman" <rarebulbs@earthlink.net> wrote:

> This is interesting, since I noticed this last winter distinct differences
> with different species as to their ability to open their flowers when the
> sun was not shining.  Within the 'tribe' O. obtusa, there are several
> large-flowered ones that seem to need less sun.  In our catalogue these are:
> O. obtusa tangerine, amber and coral.  We have others that aren't listed.
> They open their flowers in the early morning before the sun has reached its
> full intensity, and stay open longer too, and also open on dull days.  My
> business associate and I wondered last winter if this is a distinct group
> different from the others.  The flower structure and bulb seems very similar
> to the other obtusa species, although the petals do not overlap in these
> species and they are much larger than most others in the group.  We think
> they are a different species, but without much to go on in the literature we
> still lump them all together.  I have to say that the species we list as O.
> comosa falls in this category also.  It came to me from Michael Vassar
> labeled as O. comosa, and I have left it with that moniker since I don't
> know what else to call it, but, honestly, I don't think it is correct. It
> opens on dull days and also stays open late in the day.  O. fragrans is the
> one that opens in the evening and stays open late.  I brought a pot into the
> house, but the scent was so overwhelming I had to put it outside on the
> porch.  O. livida grows and looks much better in some shade, so I think that
> would qualify also.  Maybe next winter I will try to note which species are
> open on dull days so that I don't have to rely on my inadequate memory.
> The early blooming species are O. commutata and O. lobtata (highly
> recommended) - both are also strongly scented and bloom as early as August
> to September.  Late blooming ones are O. incarnata (can be a pest in the
> ground), O. inaequalis and O. bowiei.  There are probably others that I am
> not remembering.
> Diana
> Telos Rare Bulbs
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Diane Whitehead" <voltaire@islandnet.com>
> To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2005 1:58 PM
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Oxalis in gloom
>>   I've been reading the oxalis descriptions and enjoying the pictures
>> on the Telos site.  Diana comments that the winter-flowering ones
>> require sun to open.  We don't get much sun in winter, and
>> winter-flowering crocus are often a disappointment unless they have
>> interesting designs on the outside of their buds.
>> One oxalis opens in the evening, and that sounds like it might not
>> need sunshine. Are there more? I wonder if "winter-flowering" is too
>> broad a category. Are there are some that might open in early winter
>> or early spring when we have a better chance of sunshine?
>> -- 
>> Diane Whitehead  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
>> maritime zone 8
>> cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
>> sandy soil
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