New wiki images

Jim McKenney
Fri, 20 May 2005 17:12:38 PDT
I've added three new images to the wiki: two of Eremurus robustus and one of
Delphinium tricorne. 


Mary Sue's images of Californian species of Delphinium prompted me to add
Delphinium tricorne. The topic of these geophytic Delphinium came up about a
year ago, and Mary Sue recounted her experiences in attempting to convince
some people that they are proper geophytes. Delphinium tricorne is a true
geophyte, a typical spring ephemeral which is above ground for only a few
months from late winter to mid-spring. The purple-blue forms are really
beautiful, but there are also forms with dirty white flowers which are not
at all attractive. This is a small species, often only about a foot high if
that. In very rich soil it will be up to three feet high. As far as I know,
this does not grow wild anywhere near my home in southern Montgomery County,
Maryland, USA,  but I have seen it growing wild along the C&O Canal about
forty miles west of here. That area is in a different physiographic
province, and the soil there is probably not so acidic as it generally is


I have not tried to grow the west coast geophytic Delphinium yet, but I hope
to try them eventually. Nor have I been successful with D. zalil (D.
sulphureum, D. semibarbatum) a Kashmiri species - the seed I had germinated
freely, but at that time I did not know I was dealing with a summer dormant
geophyte. One of these days I'll try again. Is anyone else out there growing


Here's Delphinium tricorne:…


I first grew Eremurus robustus about forty years ago. The roots had been
planted in the fall, just before I left home as a draftee in the Army. When
they bloomed the following year, my mother sent me Polaroid photos of them.
Back in those days, the John Scheepers company sent out a separate catalog
insert listing some Eremurus and other items best planted early. The
varieties I planted back then were E. elwesii and E. robustus. I think
Eremurus elwesii is now regarded as a form of E. robustus, although as
garden plants they were slightly different: the inflorescence of E. robustus
was perhaps thinner and taller. 


The plant shown in my wiki image is comparatively short: it's only about six
feet high, but it still has plenty of wow! factor.   


I cover these from June to February to keep them dry. In my experience,
plants planted into the garden and left uncovered always eventually


Here's Eremurus robustus:…



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the garden is just
about at its best with the comingled scents of honeysuckles, roses, irises,
peonies and  mock orange - if it had not been raining today, I would have
taken a nice snooze out under the pergola. Sarracenia are blooming and
adding a very exotic element to the garden. Waterlilies, poppies and the
lutea hybrid tree peonies add to the already rich mix. And all of this is in
a small back-yard garden. Also bloooming, long after its congeners and so
thus doubly welcome: Muscari argei 'album' from Jane McGary.  


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