Biarum ?

Jane McGary
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 18:44:48 PDT
Jude wrote
>Hi gang,
>Who here has experience with Biarum ? I got some B. davisii and have no
>previous experience with them - From what I can see, they are strange
>little things.

I have grown a number of Biarum species from seed and also grow 
Biarum davisii which I got from a friend. The seed germinates readily 
after sowing and forms small tubers that can be moved on after one 
year. I find that the plants respond best to a free root run (I now 
have them in raised beds) but can also be grown for a long time in 
pots. However, in pots they do not reach anything like the size they 
achieve in nature. I keep them dry in summer. They flower at odd 
times of year, some in late summer before the leaves emerge, and some 
have an unpleasant scent. Some that I grow increase well 
vegetatively, such as Biarum karduchorum, while others remain as a 
single tuber. Slugs will prey on the leaves of some but not others.

Biarum davisii and Biarum marmarisense, which I think some botanists 
regard as the same species, are available commercially and are 
especially valued for their pink spathes. Most of the others have 
blackish or dark reddish spathes and black spadices.

All the ones I've grown have leaves of modest size and make 
comfortable companions to other bulbs.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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