OT -Coreopsis gigantea

John Wickham jwickham@sbcglobal.net
Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:24:45 PST
Its also found in the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Ventura County section. It grows on very steep cliff faces and is fairly abundant. Its coastal, so full sun doesn't mean the same as full sun inland, but inland they don't want shade either. They'll flop over and snake around until they find something sunnier. 

Because of the cliff conditions where I'd seen them growing, I planted one under a Chinese elm in my yard. There's a lot of root competition from the elm and I hoped that the C. gigantea would succeed where others have faild...and it has. But the shade from the elm has kept it from blooming. The City just pruned that tree for me and there's a lot more sunlight coming through, so I'll see if it does anything this year.

The cliff where I've seen them in Ventura County also has Calochortus catalinae and Dichelostemma capitatum growing with it (to keep a bulb connection). I'd found a white flowering form of Dichelostemma capitatum there. There were also three species of Dudleya. Its a very unique spot. 

--- On Wed, 12/15/10, AW <awilson@avonia.com> wrote:

From: AW <awilson@avonia.com>
Subject: Re: [pbs] OT -Coreopsis gigantea
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 4:07 PM

There's no doubt about it - this can be a magnificent thing if grown in an
open area, with no shade and planted among rocks on a slope. A few of the
smaller agaves will provide the greenery all year. The stems, with age,
become thick. I have seen this effectively used on freeway slopes. It has
the feature that it is unwilling to burn unless really torched. In flower,
those slopes came alive.

In this area with its low rainfall, almost all in winter, I have never seen
weediness occur, as it appears to do further north. Maybe in a wet year, all
those seeds eventually spring forth. But, I've not seen that happen around
here. Maybe the time between wet years is greater than the seed lifetime.
Its native area is on the Channel Islands, which have similarly low
rainfall. There, it is not very abundant. 

San Diego 

From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of John Wickham
This is one of the stranger California natives for the garden, and more
spectacular for it. I'd avoided them because they reminded me of the smudge
pots at the beginning of the movie "Alien". You know, the ones in the dark
cavern that infected the guy and started the carnage? That's what the dry
stump kind of looks like. Then, like the alien, that incredible foliage
boils out the top with those bright yellow flowers. What an amazing plant.
I had a friend who wouldn't plant one, because the feng shui in her garden
would be compromised by having something dead-looking in it. Maybe pots are
the way to go in that situation?

--- On Wed, 12/15/10, Paul Licht <plicht@berkeley.edu> wrote:
Coreopsis has been growing for decades here in the Garden. It seeds so
readily that we tend to ignore the seeds and just dig up seedlings. Although
it 'grows like a weed' for us, it is not necessarily a nice garden plant. It
must be in well drained soil and then kept nearĀ  bone dry in summer and
probably doesn't tolerate frost. My wife objects to having a dead looking
plant in the yard for much of the year.
Paul Licht, Director
University of California Botanical Garden 200 Centennial Drive Berkeley, CA

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