West coast Fritillaria question

John T Lonsdale john@johnlonsdale.net
Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:28:36 PST

I got my seed from Ron just before Christmas and sowed it immediately; you
should probably do the same.  If I get material like that later than about
mid-January I hold on to it (fridge) and sow in August.  There's enough time
now for the frits, alliums, Themidaceae to germinate and have a good length
of time to grow on before they go dormant.  My first frits (from seed
collected and sown last year) are just germinating now.  Loads of frit
leaves are up in the greenhouse and there's buds showing on F. stenanthera
and gibbosa.

If we get really cold between now and the end of 'winter' your green and
growing western frits will need significant protection.  When F. liliacea
did well for me outdoors for 3 years it was only because it was cold enough
to delay emergence until late February.  The Dichelostemma should be fine -
I have many clumps of Themidaceae up all over the garden and this is normal
- they do just fine.  

I have a number of Florida Trillium underwoodii in unfurled leaf and SW
Georgia T. decipiens well up and these will be protected if we get cold.
I'm pretty sure it is not the cold per se that does things in - it is rapid
thawing and desiccation you need to protect against.  A friend did a very
elegant experiment last year - 2 underwoodii in the ground, one with a
flowerpot over it, one without.  They experienced the same temperatures but
the one with the flowerpot was fine - it thawed slowly and wasn't allowed to
desiccate because the pot kept the sun off the leaves, the humidity up and
wind away.  The uncovered plant was completely crisped.



John T Lonsdale PhD
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341, USA

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