Shoal Creek Succulents group@shoalcreeksucculents.com
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 14:32:16 PDT
Hi Leo-

Thanks for the info.  Based on info offered here and the internet; I'm going
to experiment with a few mixtures of soil.

Some of the newly acquired Lewisia are blooming; I don't know if they
require separate plants for pollination to be successful; but I'll give it a
try anyway.    

On the rest of the Portulacaceae family; I have about 50 plants (a few
duplicates) that all love the heat and don't require a lot of water.
Lifestyles Seeds had a nice selection last year too; so I started quite a
few from seed.  

Best regards, Lisa

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of Leo A. Martin
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2013 3:49 PM
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [pbs] Lewisia

> I know in the summer they go dormant. Would I just entirely skip 
> watering during this time? If they were planted in the ground; they 
> wouldn?t dry out (I think), so perhaps a light misting directly over 
> the tuber once a month during this time would be ok?

A few Aprils ago I saw Lewisia rediviva blooming abundantly in eastern
Washington State.
It has many, large flowers for such a small plant and generates a very large
amount of seed. It grows there on top of flat ancient lava flows, nestled
into cracks. There were
1-5 plants per square meter. We were also there to see Pediocactus
simpsonii, which was also abundant.

Locals told me a little rain could fall in late autumn when it was already
quite cool, and a little snow might occur during the winter. Spring and
summer are dry. Summer daytime temperatures there are frequently well over
100 F / 38C, and there is very little vegetation other than some wispy
clumps of grass on the black lava, which must get extremely hot in summer.
Winter lows can be below zero F / -15C for extended periods of time. The
terrain surrounding the lava flows is short grassland, suggesting low
overall rainfall.

This would suggest to me the plant makes a rapid growth and flowering push
during spring runoff, and is also able to absorb water in late autumn when
not active above ground. I don't know how much moisture remains below the
lava surface during the long summer but I would guess not much.

Most things in Portulacaceae are extremely tolerant of drought. I can't grow
Lewisia here in Phoenix due to the heat, but its relatives here generally
die of overheating, not drought.

If you like Lewisia and you like miniature plants you should look into some
of the southern African members of Portulacaceae in genera Anacampseros and
Avonia. Most are summer growers and many have tubers underground. Mature
plants will mostly fit into a 1"
pot and they are very easy from seed, usually flowering within a year. Their
seed is rarely viable beyond one year. In addition there is one species in
Australia and are several in Mexico of a tuberous portulacaceous genus again
called Grahamia after some confusing years of anomie.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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