Trading weeds

Jane McGary
Thu, 07 Feb 2013 11:06:49 PST
Nhu wrote
>Oxalis squamata makes a wonderful display but I have a
>hard time propagating it by cutting.

This species normally reproduces by seed. In nature it's a pioneer 
plant of sandy soils, roadsides, overgrazed areas, and so on. I have 
grown it a few times but it's not reliably winter hardy here in 
Portland, Oregon. Its native climate is very similar to California's 
Central Valley foothills.

I'm not familiar with the tender rhizomatous Oxalis species, but the 
group from southern South America (O. adenophylla, O. enneaphylla, O. 
laciniata, O. erythrorhiza) are hardy, rhizomatous, non-invasive -- 
and, except for the first named, difficult to maintain in 
cultivation, normally grown in alpine houses.

The only Oxalis that has got away from me is O. obtusa, which 
produces many small bulbs. It even hitchhiked into the new bulb beds, 
presumably with a few things I planted directly from their pots 
rather than removing all their soil. Still, it is very small and 
doesn't seem to set seed here, and the large flowers are very pretty.

Like Rodger I had Nothoscordum inodorum inflicted on me by some 
stupid seed exchange donor, but I got it as a Leucojum. I was unable 
to kill it all where it got into a shrub bed, but now I have moved 
away from it. Just a couple of years ago, I ordered Sternbergia seed 
from the NARGS exchange and got what was obviously Habranthus seeds: 
somebody had a yellow flower, looked at a picture, and guessed. At 
least Habranthus isn't winter-hardy outdoors here, though it will sow 
around in a greenhouse.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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