Major excitement in the cold frame

Jim McKenney
Thu, 16 Feb 2012 08:32:55 PST

Last year a friend who gardens in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, called me to tell me about a strange plant blooming in her garden. It turned out that the strange plant was Notholirion thomsinianum, and what made this even stranger  was the source of the plant: it had come from Jane McGary in 2006. That was funny because I also received a bulb of Notholirion thomsonianum in 2006 from Jane - but mine had never bloomed. 

I was out in the cold frame area yesterday looking at my Notholirion thomsonianum: the cold frame is seriously overcrowded (the Arums have to go), and the Notholirion is planted right against one side of the frame so that it does not get much direct sun. I stood there wondering if it would ever bloom for me. Its foliage was partially hidden under the arum foliage, so I reached down to pull it out into the light. As I did so, I felt something firm and upright: there is an inflorescence on the way up! 

This puts me in a rather exclusive club: I doubt if many people have flowered a Notholirion in eastern North America - or even kept one going for six years. But I would trade that "exclusivity" in a minute to be back in the "club" which annually received a package from Jane.

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.021954º North, 77.052102º West, USDA zone 7
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin /<> 
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