Initiation of root growth in Fritillaria affinis

Nathan Lange
Sat, 01 Dec 2012 16:31:04 PST

While there are certainly different optimal rooting temperatures for 
different species of bulbs/corms, I can't think of a species offhand 
that requires a temperature treatment as cold as a refrigerator for 
good rooting or rooting initiation.  This includes the California 
natives Fritillaria affinis, F. recurva, Triteleia, Brodiaea, 
Zigadenus, and Calochortus, to name a few, all of which will initiate 
rooting in California at room temperature by November.  Of course, 
their vernalization requirements are another topic.  In California, 
F. affinis and likely all the others mentioned above probably begin 
rooting in the ground after the first autumnal rains begin here in 
mid to late October.  There are many deviations to this timetable 
depending on species, elevation, rainfall (rain begins sooner further 
north), coastal proximity, etc.

Since Fritillaria pudica is generally native to colder climates, it 
makes perfect sense that it would respond more (rooting and 
sprouting) to a cold treatment than F. affinis.  Cold refrigeration 
temperatures below 36F (2C) likely delay rooting of F. affinis bulbs, 
especially those native to lower elevations.  Generally speaking, 
rooted bulbs respond better to vernalization temperatures than unrooted bulbs.


At 02:53 PM 12/1/2012, you wrote:
>In the notes to his donations, Bob Werra wrote  "It's not too late 
>to plant winterrainfall species."
>This comment prompts me to ask about something which has long puzzled me.
>For the last five years or so I've been doing something which has 
>helped me learn a lot about bulbs new to me and therefore of 
>somewhat uncertain culture. 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. I was 
>pleased this year to see that home grown bulbs of the hybrid 
>Erythronium 'Pagoda' were producing heavy root growth after about 
>two weeks in the refrigerator.
>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. That was the end of the easy observations, 
>although the bulb eventually sprouted and bloomed the following year.
>Are there any West Coast bulbs known to delay root growth until late 
>winter and the resumption of leafy growth?
>Jim McKenney
>  From: Dell Sherk <>
>To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' <>
>Sent: Saturday, December 1, 2012 1:36 PM
>Subject: [pbs] Pacific Bulb Society BX 330
>Dear All,
>        The items listed below have been donated by our members and friends
>to be shared.
>   If you are interested in obtaining some of them, please email me PRIVATELY
>at <>. Include "BX 330" in the subject line.
>         Specify the NUMBERS of the items which you would like; do not
>specify quantities. It is a good idea to include your snail mail address,
>too, in case I don't already have it. Availability is based on a first come,
>first served system. When you receive your seeds/bulbs you will find,
>included with them, a statement of how much money (usually $2.00/share of
>seeds or $3 -$5/share of bulbs)(cash, check, or Pay Pal to
><>; no money orders, please) you should send the PBS
>treasurer. Postage and packaging charges are added.
>      Many of you are subscribers to this pbs elist which is free, but are
>not members of the Pacific Bulb Society which has a yearly membership
>Society. If you are not a member, consider joining so that you can take
>advantage of future offers such as this. Go to our website:
>          If you would like to donate seeds or bulbs/corms to the PBS,(Donors
>will receive credit on the BX for the cost of postage for their donations.),
>please send CLEAN, clearly labeled plant materials to:
>Dell Sherk
>6832 Phillips Mill Rd.
>New Hope, PA, 18938
>Non US donors should contact Dell for instructions before sending seeds.
>             I WILL
> >From Bob Werra: (SEEDS)   Bob says, "It's not too late to plant winter
>rainfall species."
>1. Calochortus amabilis
>2. Dichelostemma ida-maia
>3. Fritillaria affinis, ex Ukiah, CA
>4. Fritillaria liliaceae
>5. Gladiolus huttonii
>6. Gladiolus priori
>7. Moraea ciliata (CORMLETS)
>8. Moraea ciliate
>9. Moraea elegans
>10. Moraea graminicola, ex Eastern Cape, RSA
>11. Moraea pendula
>12. Moraea polyanthus
>13. Moraea polystachya
>14. Moraea vegeta
>15. Moraea vespertina
>16. Moraea villosa
>17. Rhodophiala, pink
>18. Rhodophiala, dark maroon
>19. Sandersonia aurantiaca
> >From Roland de Boer: (SEEDS)
>20. Crotolaria capensis
>21. Cyclamen hederifolium, mixed pink forms
>22. Galtonia viridiflora, tall form
>23. Kochia scoparia
>24. Leucocoryne purpurea
>25. Malcomia
>  maritima
>26. Massonia echinata
>27. Massonia pustulata
>28. Paradisia lusitanicum
> >From Dee Foster: (SEEDS)
>29. Eucomis comosa, green/white
>30. Eucomis comosa, mixed colors, mostly pink
>31. Eucomis cv, dwarf purple flower, green foliage
>32. Gloriosa superba (rotschildiana)
>33. Veltheimia bracteata, pink
>34. Mirabilis jalapa, "Four O'clocks", magenta
> >From Mary Sue Ittner: (all OP)
>35. Seed of Amaryllis belladonna, winter growing
>36. Seed of Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus, evergreen
>37. Bulblets of Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus, evergreen
>38. Seed of Eucomis bicolor, summer growing
>39. Seed of Nerine bowdenii - confused about when it should grow
>40. Seed of Nerine sarninesis hybrid (had red flowers) - winter growing
>41. Seed of Nerine sarniensis hybrid (seed from rescue bulb)- winter growing
>42. Seeds of Polianthes geminiflora - summer growing
>Thank you, Bob, Roland, Dee,
>  and Mary Sue !!
>Best wishes,
>Dell Sherk, PBS BX
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