Blooming /Olga / variegation

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 09:55:07 PST
It;s fascinating to hear about  all the different weather changes, 
particularly this season around the country.
Here in Seattle, we had an unusually warm autumn.  I was hiking in the 
Cascade Mountains in december without a jacket.  Then it came! Snow and 
temps in the 20's.
Needless to say, alot of marginally hardy material was not hardened off, and 
look like cooked spinach as I write this.
In this region, many gardeners live in 'Zonal Denial', raising things  that 
are reliably hardy in California, but in an odd winter, are rogued by the 
cold every so often.
One feather in our cap tho, is that this year the seed pans will have 
adequate cold for stratification, as species tulips, Hyacinthella, Crocus 
sp. etc have commenced germination.
Often, it take 2-3 seasons.
In bloom: grevillea victoriae, Viburnum bodnatense,Helleborus , Crocus, 
Daphne bholua,
Cyclamen coum cultivars,Narcissus rupicola,cantabricus,Galanthus sp et 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Waddick" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 8:05 AM
Subject: [pbs] Blooming /Olga / variegation

> Dear PBS friends,
> We have hardly used the "B" word here as hardly anything is
> either in bloom or in bud. I reported earlier on the dwarf Narcissus
> 'Cedris Morris' whose last flower is fading and looking very unhappy.
> A few Galanthus have buds showing color just barely above the soil
> surface; hopefully they'll see full form by the end of the month.
> Even Hellebores and Hamamelis 'Pallida' are void of bud development
> or a hint of color. The color of the month is brown  with hints of
> grey. Typical winter time dull.
> We have had more 'roller coaster' weather this winter with
> each week's temperature range from single digits (F) to near 60 or
> above. I call it "0 to 60 in 24 hours". Sunday we had a record of 70
> degrees (F) and this morning it is 11 F.  we have stopped calling it
> global warming and instead repeat some climatological pun of 'Global
> Weirding'. This is defined as weather that displays both too hot, too
> cold, too extreme storms, drought and flood and all other fringes of
> weather weirdness. Of course the average sounds moderate, but it
> seems all too rare and the base line seems to be getting higher as
> the extremes extend still further.
> Some just call this a 'Continetal Climate'.
> Galanthus: Like so many we are smitten by the early bloom and
> responsiveness. I've grown G. olga-reginae for years and it blooms
> reliably each fall. No problem. It multiplies slowly, more if I
> pampered it, but enough to start a couple more clumps around. No
> recollection of seed production, but what pollinator would be crazy
> enough to come around in the conditions I described.
> In any case it is very reliable hardy and persistent for us.
> Many plants have proven reliable here disregarding the
> experts edicts. The palm Rhapidophyllum has grown and multiplies well
> for years with no protection, Rohdea 'laughs' at our winter and there
> are more. The essential thing is to try them if in doubt.
> I do claim some expertise in regard to variegation especially
> in regard to foliage. Years ago Oxford University tested hundreds of
> plants with variegated foliage. They found that the foliar coloration
> was due to various genetic factors in something over 95% of the
> plants and that less than 5 % were due to viral infection. They also
> proposed a 'test' that I have found pretty convincing.
> With variegated leaf in hand, look at the borders between
> green and white parts. Most will show fairly sharp edges with little
> blurring. Viral variegation is much 'fuzzier' as the discoloring
> 'disease agent'/virus moves from cell to cell. Genetic variegation is
> often carried in non nuclear DNA of plant chloroplasts passed from
> the seed parent plant in the embryo. Virus that produce the rare
> occurrence of variegation may be relatively benign, but many carry a
> negative quality that makes viral variegated plants 'weak' growers.
> The genetic variegates may arise by a wide range of causes
> and result in a wide range of expressions depending on how and where
> in each layer of the leaf the altered DNA is represented. The luck of
> the genetic draw and the basic genetic make up of the plant.
> I have simplified this "A LOT" and this does not necessarily
> follow in regard to the expression of color breaks in flowers, but
> color breaks can occur for a number of reasons from genetics, to
> virus, to mycoplasma, temperature and other developmental factors.
> Excuse me for putting too many diverse topics under one
> heading. Been too busy to respond to most PBS topics lately and glad
> to to divert the proceedings back to bulbs.
> Trying to catch up and keep warm in anticipation of spring.
> Best Jim W.
> -- 
> Dr. James W. Waddick
> 8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
> Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
> Ph.    816-746-1949
> Zone 5 Record low -23F
> Summer 100F +
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