Climate-appropriate choices

Jane McGary
Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:32:37 PST
In addition to Tecophilaea cyanocrocus mentioned by Lee Poulsen 
("var. leichtlinii" is just a variable color form that is probably 
closer to the typical wild form than the deeper blue ones), a blue 
Chilean flower is Pasithea caerulea, which has a stoloniferous 
rhizome and is very deep blue in flower. It seems to do well in 
coastal California but doesn't survive the cold here in Oregon. 
Zephyra elegans varies from almost white to "powder blue" including 
some with darker blue margins. It probably will not tolerate much if 
any frost. The only Tropaeolum azureum I have seen in the wild were 
the very dark, almost violet ones; I'm waiting to see what color 
flowers my seedlings will produce.

Lee, perhaps you could post a photo of your fragrant mystery flower 
on the Mystery Bulbs section of the wiki?

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

At 05:44 PM 2/13/2014, Lee wrote:
>Gastil, if you want to try some other really blue flowers that 
>should do well for you, try some of the Chilean ones. Right now I 
>have the really blue Tecophilaea cyanocrocus in bloom and the vastly 
>more vigorous *and* floriferous T. cyanocrocus var. leichtlinii 
>which is a lighter, not quite as striking, blue, but still blue, as 
>well as Tropaeolum azureum. I have the latter from two different 
>sources, grown from seed, one of which has bloomed for me now a 
>third year in a row, and the other bloomed this year for the first 
>time and it is a significantly different and deeper shade of blue 
>than the first one. Quite striking.
>I'm also hoping to get a second year of blooming from a pot of 
>Zephyra elegans that finally has come back consistently for me. This 
>is one species where it's really easy to get lots and lots of seeds 
>to germinate and grow. But then only a few come back the next year, 
>and until last year, none came back the third year. I've tried this 
>one over and over for years. Anyway, last year, I thought I had a 
>stray pot of Tecophilaea cyanocrocus var. leichtlinii--because it 
>was a fairly similar-looking and -colored flower--but it appeared as 
>a spray of flowers on a single stem (can't remember the technical 
>term) rather than lots of single-stemmed flowers. And the scent! I 
>guess I hadn't read anywhere (or more likely never paid attention) 
>that it smells so wonderful. And you don't have to try to bury your 
>nose in the flower to smell it.

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