Freesia laxa subsp. azurea

Mary Gastil
Sat, 05 Nov 2011 13:03:34 PDT
Hi Brian,

The blue form of Freesia laxa is one of my favorite bulbs. Mine are just opening this past week and will bloom thru winter I expect. Here are some photos showing:

L. laxa length of perianth tube…

L. laxa width of flowers and 3 dark blotches on later-opening flowers…

4 blotches on first-opening flower of stem…

L laxa seeds collected in August 2010…

corms of the reddish L. laxa variety dug 2 days ago…

I already promised some to Josh, who is patiently waiting for my L. laxa to go dormant so I can send him the Hippeastrum they're potted with.  Some I'll replant and the rest I'll send to the BX.  I would like to see these more widely grown.  Ive tried to get a local friend here to grow them but they have "gardeners" who mistake these for grass and yank them!  

As to weedy habit, I have to admit my original corms and seeds were given to me by a greenhouse manager who had pulled them out of some pots they had hitch-hiked in.  Those pots came from UCI.  They did pop up in a few more pots at UCSB but rarely.  The reddish ones grew outside, in full sun, at the UCSB greenhouse and I expect those could get weedy in this climate (Santa Barbara).  I have been carefully propagating the blue ones for nearly 10 years and still dont have many.  The white multiply the least.  In my garden, these do best in bright shade but I may experiment with more sun.  I may get more blooms in sun.  The shade requirement here may just have been because they were not getting water.

Sunset zone 24 plus more frost, kind of a 9b-ish climate but more mild.  

- Gastil

---- original message ----
From: Brian Whyer <>
Subject: [pbs] Freesia laxa subsp. azurea

 have what I assume is this plant just starting to flower. It matches 
the wiki photo allowing for a slight variation in markings.
acquired this some years ago and though I had lost it, but it reappeared
 in another neglected pot last autumn, and now I have 2 if the as yet 
unflowered one is the same. It is a very pale lilac with deep purple 
markings. Is this ssp. less hardy than the red?
The red laxa that flowers all summer for me is a real weed, along the side of the house and between paving.

Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8

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