Mary Sue wrote: The question or observation that I was raising, obviously not very well, was that in California, at least the parts that are considered to have a Mediterranean climate, even though growth does not start until the beginning of the rainy season, the bulbs that I'm familiar with do not bloom in the beginning of this season, but at the end. There are of course exceptions that bloom soon after the leaves appear in the late winter, early spring, but a lot of them come into growth from October to December but don't bloom until May to June, sometimes after their leaves have withered." Here's what I think (and remember, I'm an east coast guy who's never been west of Texas so this should be a hoot). In general, I suspect that the answer has as much to do with the origins of the flora of California as it has to do with the climate of California. The Mediterranean basin has autumn blooming plants because it derives part of its flora from areas where the initiation of the growing season was triggered by rain patterns rather than by hot and cold cycles. Or maybe the milder winters favored earlier and earlier bloom among plants which were originally spring bloomers. [and here's a joke; maybe it's like those seed companies which every year announce new varieties which are five days earlier than last year's varieties. That has been going on for so long that by now some of those varieties should mature before they are planted.] California lacks autumn bloomers because its bulb flora seems to be derived from plants adapted to the general North American weather pattern, i.e. cold winters. Unlike the Mediterranean basin, which derives part of its flora from North Africa, Mexico does not seem to have contributed much if anything to the bulb flora of California. Do any of the Mexican amaryllids, gesneriads, or Oxalis even get into California? When plants adapted to cold winters and long summer growing seasons move into areas with mild winters and dry summers, they face a big challenge if their seeds germinate in response to warmth and moisture. It seems to me that adaptive pressures would favor those which postpone the ripening of their seed. Why? Because if seed germinated late in the growing season, it would soon die in the summer drought. All of those themidaceous plants and Calochortus and others which bloom and ripen seed amid the dry grasses of summer produce seeds which do not germinate during the summer. My guess is that selective pressures favor postponement of bloom and seed ripening in the Californian climate. And the same would be true in any Mediterranean-type climate being populated by plants previously adapted to cold winters and long moist growing seasons. It seems to me more likely that plants would achieve a one month delay in bloom and seed ripening more easily than a four or five month advancement in flowering time. Both might have happened, but I'll bet that selective pressures favor the former over the latter. You may be wondering why fall blooming bulbs have not evolved in the California climate. I think at least part of the reason here is that what we think of as fall blooming plants, as I've said above, are not so much fall blooming plants as they are plants which respond to wet/dry cycles. If California had derived its bulb flora from Mexico, there probably would have been fall blooming California bulbs. But apparently it did not, and so they are not there - yet. How's that for oversimplifying a staggeringly complex issue? What do others think about this? Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where we had a near Mediterranean climate this year: dry summer and then drenching rain in October.