Initiation of root growth in Fritillaria affinis; was Re: Pacific Bulb Society BX 330

Peter Taggart
Sun, 02 Dec 2012 01:28:58 PST
It is normal for winter growing bulbs planted too late, to delay root
growth untill the soil is warm enough, this way top growth may start before
roots with species not designed to grow this way. It is why late planted
bulbs should be kept frost free.
 By refrigeration you are efectively pushing these bulbs directly from
Summer to early winter. You are denying them the early Automm when many
will naturally root in warmer but fluctuating temperatures. This may be
desirable in order to grow plants in a climate which otherwise do not have
a long enough winter.
It is certainly a good experiment, - but I think that you might get even
more interesting results if the bulbs which are slow to root in the
refrigerator were removed in order to recieve a little warmth for an hour
or two on a daily basis???

From observation Colchicums seem to require moisture for root growth, but
will start flowering regardless of water, Scillas too may produce leaves in
response to light and temperature -without water.
Fritillaria affinis starts root growth early in the first part of Automne
if damp, but well before frost starts if dry in a pot of soil.
Peter (UK)

On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 10:53 PM, Jim McKenney <>wrote:

> In the notes to his donations, Bob Werra wrote  "It's not too late to
> plant winterrainfall species."
> The really puzzling ones have mostly been Californians, in particular the
> West Coast Fritillaria. Here's what I do: when the bulbs arrive from the
> suppliers, I pack one or two in zip lock plastic bags with a piece of
> barely moist paper towel and then put the whole thing into the refrigerator.
> I take them out now and then as time allows and check for signs of life.
> The primary goal is to see when the bulbs start to produce roots or show
> other signs of renewed activity. The majority of summer dormant bulbs show
> signs of life within a week or two.
> Fritillaria affinis, given the same treatment, shows no sign of growth -
> nor does it show any signs of distress. Fritillaria pudica, on the other
> hand, shows both extensive root growth and sprout growth.
> So here's the question: does anyone know when this species (Fritillaria
> affinis) normally begins root growth? When I've tried this experiment in
> the past with another species, F. recurva, I lost my nerve at the end of
> the year and moved the still unrooted bulb to a pot and a cold frame.

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