Summer blooms

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 20 Aug 2006 07:49:27 PDT
The weather has been more typically cool in August with morning fog 
sometimes lasting into afternoon and overcast, but the Amaryllis 
belladonna/A. b. hybrid spikes keep appearing in places I've obviously 
planted them where they have never bloomed before so it is really very 
exciting. Some of those places have multiple spikes forming so they had 
been expanding in spite of not blooming. And unlike Jim Waddick's Lycoris, 
rainfall is not what stimulates bloom since we've had none since May if 
memory serves me. Even though we've watered every now and then, if you dig 
in the soil down very far, it is bone dry. Since I'm leaving for the IBSA 
symposium early next week I'll miss seeing what some of them will look 
like. My friend Jana gave me some she purchased from Bill Welch so they 
could be really gorgeous.

It was a good summer for my naturalized Dieramas. I finally got blooms from 
one I got from Telos years ago as a gift for finding the mistake in the 
catalog. It was supposed to be dark purple, but the color matches most of 
the rest of the ones I grow and is more what I think of as magenta or dark 
pink but obviously what Diana thinks is dark purple. I believe that 
transplanting sets these back. I'm hoping the Marilyn has finally got the 
ones I was going to throw away (as I was sure they wouldn't grow) to bloom. 
They survived being on the ground out of soil without roots when she 
transplanted them weeks later after convincing me she wanted them even 
though I didn't think they'd make it.

Another bulb that has been incredible this summer is my Alophia. It has 
bloomed and bloomed for months so that even though the flowers are fleeting 
it has produced a lot of them. I also had good blooms from Gelasine 
elongata. These flowers are also fleeting and close as the day gets warmer, 
but the plants have attractive pleated foliage and it appears are happy in 
my northern California garden. It looks like none of the pictures on the 
wiki  illustrates the foliage very well so I'll need to write myself a note 
to add to add a picture of that. This one definitely blooms better for me 
in the ground. I had some other plants that I couldn't figure out what they 
were and thought maybe they were Babianas because of the leaves and finally 
gave up and planted them out and it turns out they were Gelasine not at all 
happy to be treated like Babianas and dried off in summer. The late 
blooming Gladiolus were wonderful this year.

I also had blooms from the beautiful Cypella aquatilis that Diana Chapman 
gave me at the bulb meeting at her house and from Cypella osteniana. The 
flowers of these South American Irids fascinate me with their complexity. I 
think however I've just about given up on Tigridia which was so happy in my 
hotter garden in Stockton.  And yesterday there was the first gorgeous 
bloom on Hesperoxiphion peruvianum so it looks like I'm going to miss it 
mostly. Sir Peter Smithers found if you didn't let it go to seed and kept 
pinching off the spent bud each day it would keep blooming. And my Bessera 
is going to bloom, but hasn't so I'll miss it too. And a Trimezia given to 
me by one of our members in Texas has a bud, but will have to bloom today 
or tomorrow or I won't see it either. On the other hand Milla biflora has 
bloomed for a long time as the different corms in the pot have bloomed one 
at a time and I love those large white flowers.

Two very exciting events were first blooms from Scadoxus. It has been down 
to the wire as every day Scadoxus multiflorus opens a bit more. I moved it 
to my greenhouse hoping to speed it along so I wouldn't miss it. Another 
Scadoxus that I guess is S. multiflorus is blooming in the leaves and it 
was just by chance that I saw it.

Once again I have few blooms from my Eucomis so perhaps this is not a plant 
I can successfully flower regularly. I'm sure the bulbs I have are big enough.

The early blooming Cyclamen are blooming and the leaves appearing on some 
of the other species. My first Gladiolus that blooms before the leaves is 
in bloom and G. carmineus spikes appearing here and there. Moraea 
polystachya leaves are showing and a few Oxalis. So the cycle begins again.

As much as I will miss seeing the bulbs wake up in my garden I am really 
looking forward to seeing many of you on this list who live far away at the 
bulb symposium in South Africa. And they have had a lot of winter rainfall 
so those of us traveling there will no doubt have some amazing botanizing.

If people need help while I'm gone with the list write Arnold or Susan and 
Jay, Susan, and Linda can help with wiki requests.

Mary Sue

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