Calochortus seed

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 10 Jan 2007 17:53:24 PST

The Robinetts often suggested starting the seed of some Calochortus species 
after the danger of frost was over, not in the fall as one might expect in 
a Mediterranean climate. Since I don't routinely use fungicides in sowing 
seed and live in a climate with wet winters and a lot of humidity, I found 
starting Calochortus seed in the fall outside didn't work well for me at 
all. The seed germinated well, but afterwards died. Since I've changed my 
timing to late January-February I've had much better success. Usually the 
seed doesn't come up for a month and by then the outside temperatures and 
humidity are much more accommodating. I still shelter this seed from the 
rain, but otherwise leave it outside and keep it in growth as long as 
possible. The second year the seedlings that return seem able to tolerate 
my weather without so many problems although I still shelter the southern 
California species from more arid parts of the state. So I think Bob 
Werra's offer of Calochortus seed to the BX comes at a good time for the 
northern hemisphere. Also Calochortus seed can be kept for a long time 
without losing its viability so could be kept until next year and started 
then as well.

#7 in the latest BX is probably Calochortus vestae
Bob grows a pretty one with pink flowers although the white one I grow is 
nicely marked too. So the seed could be from that one.

Mary Sue

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

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