Blooming Now/Massonia

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 05 Oct 2005 08:10:16 PDT
Dear all,

My Nerines are still blooming. It is so fun to have all these plants from 
the Zinkowski rescue blooming this year now that I finally have figured out 
what they need (I hope this isn't an isolated event). I love the sparkle. 
I've noticed when you photograph them you need to have them in the sun to 
see the sparkle in the picture.

I just get excited to see leaves this time of year, especially Cyclamen and 
Lachenalias. A whole lot of different species of Cyclamen have been 
blooming as well. I just love them!!! My Oxalis are coming up and some are 
already blooming. And there are autumn Crocus here and there. They seem to 
do fine in my raised beds. I continue to find new Gladiolus carmineus in 
bloom in my garden. This is one plant that I am happy to see spread. I 
don't have huge clumps anywhere, just a clustering of a few in many 
different places. Once they are finished blooming they will send up a long 
slender leaf which still won't get in the way of anything else so they just 
add a welcome spot of color in our dry landscape. Although some parts of 
California have had a bit of rain now, we haven't had rain since June (and 
we were lucky to have it then.)

My first Polyxena are blooming. I know they are now Lachenalia, but I'm 
still going to call them Polyxena to differentiate them in my mind. My 
Cyrtanthus sanguineus is done, but oh how gorgeous it was. Thanks to Lauw 
and Jim Waddick for suggesting it was one that might be more easy to get to 

I tried this year planting my Sandersonia several months apart to see if I 
could get longer blooming that way. So I have one of them just starting to 
bloom. This last batch didn't work out as well as it was dry for about 9 
months, but still I got one to come back.

I have a Massonia question I hope someone can help me with. I am growing a 
number of plants from seed labeled Massonia pustulata. Descriptions of it 
sound quite variable (smooth or pustulate-hairy, sometimes spotted, 3-15 x 
2-13 cm., flowers cream to pink 6-15 x1.5-2.5 mm.) The two blooming 
populations I have are really different. One is pustulate and the other is 
not. Can anyone explain how Massonia pustulata is different from M. 
echinata which is described as smooth, hairy or pustulate-hairy, sometimes 
spotted, 2-15 x 1-13, flowers cream to white, fading pink 5-15 x 1-2mm)? 
The differences in these descriptions are so minor. I'm wondering if one of 
mine could be Massonia echinata instead of M. pustulata. The flowers are so 
tiny and so low, it is very difficult to measure them. I've put pictures on 
the wiki of these plants as they come up and bloom and are in seed. I used 
to have 5 or 6 in a pot, but as you can see I'm getting to the point each 
will need its own pot. I've shared some of these with the BX in the past 
and seed as well so I assume others might like an answer to this question too.…

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

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