Flowers of Crete

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 03 Nov 2005 21:33:11 PST
Dear Julia,

We welcome you to the PBS list. I enjoyed looking at your web site and am 
always supportive of people trying to save wild bulbs.

Looking at your calendar I was impressed with all the bulbs that flower in 
autumn in Crete. The winter rainfall area of South Africa, also with a 
Mediterranean climate, has a number of species, especially from the 
Amaryllis family, that bloom in fall. I can't think of any bulbs/geophytes 
from California that bloom in the fall. There are a few that start in late 
winter, but most of them are spring and even early summer bloomers. It has 
always seemed to me that at least in the part of the state that I live in 
that means they are blooming when the rains have slowed and pollination is 
more likely to occur so this would be a helpful thing. So many of my 
African bulbs have flowers that can be wiped our by our heavy rains in 
January and February.

I looked at Lee's Mediterranean rainfall graph on the wiki and he includes 
Crete. It looks like Crete has more rainfall than Los Angeles. I'm 
wondering if it would be comparable to the San Francisco Bay Area. 
Certainly it's not as much as I get here. I can't remember if we've ever 
speculated why some Mediterranean climate bulbs bloom in the fall. Only 
Chile and California have such dry summers so maybe it takes more to wake 
them up. Osmani, if you are reading this, do any of your bulbs in Chile 
bloom in the fall?

I'd love to hear any ideas people have about this.

Mary Sue 

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