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Topics - Emil

I have harvested 20 seeds from the clivia plant of a long-standing garden client. Based on the blooms (see photo) I presume this to be Clivia nobilis, but please feel free to suggest more educated guesses, or at least know that the ID is not 100% absolutely verified. Until it is. The photo is from the exact parent plant clump, and no other clivias are around.

I have already germinated an earlier harvest of seeds from the same plant, so these seeds ARE viable but should be mailed and planted soon. Germination is slower than with Clivia miniata hybrids.

An order quantity is one seed. You may request multiple orders, and in the event I receive requests from fewer than 20 people I can then double some up. Usual SX pricing of $2 per order (1 seed) will apply plus $1 toward shipping. You can pay via usual SX/BX methods. Memberships must be up to date to order. These are coming from California and can only go to those whom I can legally ship seeds to.

To order, send your request to Because these need to ship soon, cutoff for ordering will be Wednesday 13 March, 8am PST. Make sure to include your mailing address. If you live somewhere the weather is still below freezing, think carefully about ordering.

Finally, just another plug--if you have shelf-stable geophyte seeds, please get ready to send them in to our new SX manager, Lisa, for the next big SX! Even if you think it's a common plant, other members will still appreciate the opportunity to grow it.

Emil Friend
Oakland, CA
PBS Members Affairs / Seeking Editor for The Bulb Garden
February 25, 2024, 12:44:08 PM
Dear Community Members of the Pacific Bulb Society:

Your Board is looking for an individual to serve, with assistance from others, as editor of our quarterly newsletter, The Bulb Garden. Elite Bulb Nerd status is not a prerequisite!

We consider The Bulb Garden to be an important vehicle for keeping in touch with you, the members; for advancing cultural and botanical wisdom about geophytes; and for generally demonstrating our passion for these plants. It is also a platform for recipients of Mary Sue Ittner (MSI) Grants to share what they've learned in their research, which you the members have funded.

Already in place are people who will acquire articles and images, a professional copyeditor, and the PBS treasurer, who manages the printing and mailing phases. The editor would therefore be responsible for combining articles, images, news updates, and regular PBS business, into a graphically pleasing pdf format, and sending that off to be printed, four times per year. They would of course be able to submit articles for publication, as can any of our members. (Please, write an article!)

While subject to some oversight from the Publishing Committee and financial constraints on production costs, the editor would have broad artistic license to determine the format and aesthetic of The Bulb Garden. 

A small stipend is available on a per-issue basis. The position will be filled as soon as possible in order to maintain our quarterly publication schedule (the most recent issue was just mailed). 

Please send inquiries and applications to the PBS president, Bridget Wosczyna,

Emil Friend, Secretary
PBS Members Affairs / PBS Transitions to New Leadership
November 19, 2023, 08:56:24 PM
Dear Pacific Bulb Society Members,

We are sorry to let you know that Robin Hansen has stepped back from her position as PBS President, due to extenuating circumstances. Under her careful guidance, PBS has held its course—through a pandemic no less!—and is thriving. On behalf of the membership and the Board, I would like to thank and commend Robin for the time and energy she gave to the Society. In recognition of her service, the Board has extended Robin a lifetime membership. 

Robin had intended to complete her term through the end of this year, but with her recent resignation, Bridget Wosczyna (who was Vice President) acted as Interim President.

The Board held regular elections at their meeting this past weekend, and there were several changes to the Board and its Officers. 

Bridget has been elected President for a term of two years and will continue to manage the Bulb Exchange.

The Board made two other appointments at the meeting.

As Bridget's election to President left a vacancy in the Vice President office, Society member Mark Akimoff volunteered to join the Board and step into this role, and was affirmed at the meeting. Mark is a plantsman who runs Illahe Rare Plants, a nursery in Oregon. He is appreciative of the wisdom and knowledge he has gained from PBS over the years, and is excited to give back. Welcome Mark, and thank you!

Jan Jeddeloh advised us earlier this year that she would withdraw as Seed Exchange Manager at the end of 2023. In her stead we have appointed Lisa Zankowski, the proprietress of Shoal Creek Succulents in Illinois. Lisa has been a longtime follower of PBS and has a professional background and expertise with plants, seeds, and plant shipping. Welcome Lisa, and thank you! Jan will be working with Lisa to transfer the operation as smoothly as possible. Thank you Jan, for your efforts as Seed Exchange Manager!

Arnold Trachtenberg will continue to serve as Treasurer and I will continue as Secretary. Robin will continue to edit our journal, The Bulb Garden.

If you wish to follow Board proceedings, please keep an eye on the website, where we intend to begin to post the Minutes. Historically these have been published in The Bulb Garden, but we feel that the printed paper is better saved for primary content, while having the Minutes in a digital repository is a more organized approach.

Emil Friend
Like many US west coast gardeners, I battle with the weedy Oxalis pes-caprae, known locally as sourgrass for its taste as a salad green (yes, oxalic acid is an antinutrient, don't eat too much). 

I've often wondered about the different ways this plant seems to gear up for summer dormancy. Sometimes it will grow bulblets along the narrow stem coming up from a deeply buried bulb. Other times, the stem will swell and become a storage organ itself. These two strategies will sometimes be found among plants growing right next to each other. 

I'm curious if anyone has insight what might trigger one reaction or the other! 

Photo below shows example of each case. From my garden in Oakland. 


I unapologetically love bulbs in the landscape for fragrance and flower power. The narcissus and freesias have been loving all the rain we've been getting and are blooming their cute little butts off. I also love having flowers indoors but refuse to buy them from florists so they become a special treat. My photography skills are less impressive than the blooms, but you'll get the idea. 
I'm going to the Chelsea Flower Show later this month, as well as visiting a lot of British and Dutch gardens and a few nurseries. I anticipate wanting to bring some seed packets back to the US. Cyclamens and such. Or is there some legal allowance for this? Should I just put them in packed luggage and hope for the best? It seems the small lot import permit is for seed that will go through a processing facility as opposed to being brought through customs with the purchaser. 

Thanks for your help!