What's blooming in coastal Northern California

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 09 Feb 2012 17:41:27 PST

We continue to have an unusually dry winter for 
us which is blamed on La NiƱa. We had no rain for 
most of January (one of our wettest months), but 
finally a storm went through with rain off and on 
for several days which brought us 10 inches (25.4 
cm) of rain in that short period. And we've had 
an inch of rain in February (a couple of days 
ago). But mostly we've had weather like they 
probably get in southern California. Andwe've had 
lots more light than usual which no doubt makes 
some things I grow much happier. It seems there 
can be a trade off when the weather is 
unexpected. I remember years ago when Diane 
Whitehead was keeping track of things that could 
bloom in one year from seed that Sheila Burrow 
from Western Australia (someone who is no longer 
on our list) had some amazing success which we 
attributed to the greater amount of light she probably had in winter.

A lot of people seemed surprised by my reports 
from mid January. Some of those unexpected 
bloomers are still blooming. I've looked up 
(briefly) some of these things and find that some 
of them are blooming a bit earlier, but others 
are right on track. In bloom now or very recently in pots:
Allium hyalinum
Arum purpureaspathum
Babiana purpurea
Calochortus uniflorus
Crocus flavus, C. gargaricus, C. malyi, C. sieberi, C. versicolor
Cyclamen coum, C. pseudibericum. C. repandum is 
coming up in various places including far away 
from where it was planted. I'm so grateful to 
Bill Dijk for encouraging me to grow the species 
from seed as Cyclamen seems quite happy in my 
climate and leaves are coming up all over the 
garden in places I didn't plant it. There is also 
what must be a hybrid in Cyclamen coum pot as 
there are several different looking leaves in 
that pot and some usual size C. coum flowers 
blooming as well as some giant ones looking more 
like the Cyclamen you see for sale.
Delphinium nudicaule
Geissorhiza inaequalis
Gladiolus caeruleus
Hesperantha cucullata, Hesperantha paucifolia, 
Hesperantha humilis, H. latifolia
Ixia rapunculoides
Lachenalia aloides quadricolor
Moraea tricolor
Muscari neglectum
Narcissus cantabricus, N. 'Smarple', N. fernandesii
Nothoscordum felipponei, unidentified white 
Nothoscordum/Tristagma (F & W Nothoscordum sp. 8485) looks a bit like this:
Oxalis purpurea, Oxalis glabra, Oxalis obtusa, 
Oxalis versicolor, Oxalis namaquana
Romulea kombergensis, R. tetragona
Scilla greihuberi
Scoliopus biglovii
Spiloxene serrata, S. capensis
Tecophilaea cyanocrocus var. leichtlinii, T. cyanocrocus
Tristagma  (Ipheion) uniflorum
Triteleia hycinthina (a short form with only a short dormancy and a long bloom)

In the ground: Iris unguicularis, Orthrosanthus 
chimboracensis, Romulea flava, Trillium ovatum, 
Cyclamen coum, C. pseudibericum
Greenhouse: Cyrtanthus mackenii, Tropaeolum 
tricolor, Canarina canariensis, xHippeastrelia
And seen out and about where I live various 
unidentified Narcissus, Oxalis pes-caprae

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

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