pbs Digest, Vol 66, Issue 17

Adam Fikso adam14113@ameritech.net
Wed, 16 Jul 2008 10:42:32 PDT
Well-stated Jim, and thanks for the Scheepers recommendation.  There's a lot 
of wholesale slop out there, e.g., a picture for A. belladonna coupled with 
text for Lycoris squamigera--over and over again.  Wrote to them, they 
argued, wrote again,  argument, wrote a third time, they took the ad out. 
Now they've changed the picture with a better form of A. belladonna, for the 
text of L. squamigera.

They deal with volume and only pretend to care about individual consumers. 
They talk politely but don't change what they're doing.  So buy from them 
only when you have to (they do control lots of market choices), and 
patronize the smaller more reliable dealers, but they're stuck too, because 
they have to buy from the big brokers. The Scheepers recommendation is one I 
needed.  I've noticed that Fritillaria persica has tended to go sour in the 
last 10 years, and I still don't have a good replacement. I have 3 bulbs 
that some up reliably with no hint of any flower capability, much less the 
'Adiyaman'  that's pictured in its dark candle-like glory.  I finally got a 
few good F. michailowskyii with expanded and wide-open mouths to the bells, 
but they seem to be sterile.

Some of this is perhaps not accidental.  I understand it  to be  part of the 
some Dutch bulb growers' efforts to control the market, exemplified  in part 
by  irradiation of cut flower pollens (e.g., Alstroemeria) to make sure that 
it's not used for hybridization of plants outside of their control

I understand it, but I don't like it.

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Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 12:21 PM
Subject: pbs Digest, Vol 66, Issue 17

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> Today's Topics:
>   1. Re: Fritillaria imperialis (Jim McKenney)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 16:18:54 -0400
> From: "Jim McKenney" <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com>
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Fritillaria imperialis
> To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <000101c8e6b8$01d5aa10$2f01a8c0@Library>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Good luck with that plan, Jim, and be sure to let us know how it turns 
> out.
> I?ve had my share of bad experiences with poorly handled bulbs of
> Fritillaria imperialis over the years. I?ve received dead bulbs, crushed
> bulbs, dry mummified bulbs ? what a bother. Requests for replacement bulbs
> from some of these dealers were promptly fulfilled with more dead, crushed
> or mummified bulbs. One supplier simply ignored my plight after the first
> replacement ? evidently they thought their responsibility was to supply a
> replacement, alive or dead.
> However, there is one supplier who has never let me down: the John 
> Scheepers
> Co. Over the years (I?ve been buying from them on and off for close to
> fifty years) I have occasionally received a bad bulb, but requests for
> replacements were promptly honored with live bulbs. The Fritillaria
> imperialis they sent in the fall of 2006 were packed in small cardboard
> boxes and cushioned with excelsior. The bulbs were heavy, blemish free and
> had incipient roots; they went on to grow and bloom. What more can you 
> ask?
> What I?m trying to say is that my experience suggests that it isn?t
> necessary to get bulbs in August. Even if I could get freshly dug bulbs 
> now,
> I certainly don?t think it would be a good idea to plant a bulb of this
> species into the damp, hot soil of a Maryland summer. Missouri can't be 
> much
> different.
> North Europeans are in a hurry to plant these bulbs in August because 
> their
> fall and early winter are apt to be dull, wet and cold: hardly good 
> weather
> to be out digging and hardly good conditions for plants trying to get 
> rooted
> before the onset of winter.
> In my experience, properly stored bulbs from a supplier who knows what he 
> is
> doing give impeccable first year results. The rest is up to you.
> I?m posting this response to both the PBS forum and Alpine-L.
> Jim McKenney
> jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871? North, 77.09829? West, USDA 
> zone
> 7, where we just had an improbably late and successful lily show.
> My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
> BLOG! http://mcwort.blogspot.com/
> Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS
> Editor PVC Bulletin http://www.pvcnargs.org/
> Webmaster Potomac Lily Society http://www.potomaclilysociety.org/
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> End of pbs Digest, Vol 66, Issue 17
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