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Topics - petershaw

I've had a thing for these since trying to force them for a nursery almost 40yrs ago.

This clump was at least 10 yrs old and had never done a thing. We were redoing a spot in our landscape a month ago so I dug it up and sat it aside trying to decide with to do with it.

Two weeks later, still bare-root on a bench, there were signs of flower buds.

Currently sitting in a pot without any media, in the greenhouse it's saying, how do I look now!

(Don't mind the mess, the inverted tub covers my solar battery, the bin is sifted pumice and the the buckets are fertilizer concentrates that I dilute as needed.)

I did some searching on the site but didn't find what I was looking for.

Last season I received an envelope "all the rest" full of seed packets.

Being enthusiastic I sowed almost all of them.

Most are dormant and many are winter growers so the season might be starting soon and I want to know if I should transplant some and send others to the bulb exchange.

I recall reading that its best to let them go another year.

General Discussion / Amorphophallus 'Shattered Glass'
August 03, 2023, 10:33:46 AM
Picked up this little cutie at Peacock Horticultural Nursery in Sebastopol. The pattern is variable but present in both plants. Tubers I think..

I have been looking for a great way to keep my growing collection in a single space to have good sunlight in the winter/early spring and hot but protected summer temperatures.

Have read a few of you have these sorts of beds and having seen the beautiful Alpine beds at the Royal BG Edinburgh and Wisley I think this might be an option.

I have come across some 2x12 fir boards that I can use to make some nice raised beds (waist height for viewing and I don't bend very well anymore). I know they will rot reasonably quickly so I think I will want to add a liner.

I have built several aquaponic systems and ponds so I know how to make them water proof but I am now thinking about drainage.

I'll need lots of holes, and bulkhead fittings are a bit expensive, so I think maybe creating a series of sloped areas like a shower base might direct the water out quickly. Maybe use some of the tile set material under the liner.

Water does not move well from sand to gravel so that is not really a good option, and I have never used sand in a pond so I am not sure how to keep it in the base without it falling or clogging.

I can make it pretty deep so maybe the sand to gravel and perch layer will not be an issue.

Any suggestions or comments?


Quite tall, 4-6' maybe, clumping, may be a bit of a spreader.

Beautiful foliage for sure.

Fits into the tropical theme of the landscape.

Seed pods if anyone is interested.



Do I understand this correctly, that I should keep them growing all summer? I am guessing the bulbs need to grow to withstand a summer dry period in a pot. 

I think I found this recommendation in one of the old Bulb Garden that were just recently posted. 

I am sure there is no simple answer as different species need different treatments. I had some go tan then brown really quickly while others are still green (growing?)

Gift from an old friend. Labeled O. longibracteatum but not it for sure.

Leaves are thin grasslike, flower stalks branched with flowers vertical and not really opening up fully.

The Wiki page mentions a section of Albuca with vertically held flowers but I cant find a list of those to try to ID it.


IMG_2662.jpg IMG_2663.jpg IMG_2664.jpg
General Discussion / Escaping - Nothing new
April 04, 2023, 07:23:21 AM
The thread about Oxalis pes-caprae  reminds me that "we" have a long history of thinking that a cool plant from somewhere else is going to play nice in our garden. I grew O. megalorrhiza 45 years ago in my quest for caudiciforms and gave a few plants to a friend at the local college botany greenhouse, returned 30+ years later and my gift had become a resident in almost every pot.

In California we have seen plants from the southern hemisphere take over large areas of our landscapes, some of the Eucalyptus and Acacias for example. This is not to bash SH plants, as our well loved Liquidambar has turned into a big mistake as a street or landscape tree in CA.

Where am I going with this? I'm pretty new to exotic bulb collecting and want to be sure I don't do this to my landscape. I love Sparaxis, but not like this. (Okay, I love walking past this on my daily walks)


Visiting the UCSC arboretum yesterday I came across a gladiolus that was going to town.. Beautiful but again, I dont want to be weeding too much any longer (late 60's), listed as G. tristis 'Moonlight' but wrong color. I think this plant was a volunteer that liked the label.


I am just hoping that the ones I want are going to be tame. 

Mystery Bulbs / Bulbs at UC Santa Cruz Arboretum
April 04, 2023, 07:00:50 AM
Visiting UCSC Arboretum (Santa Cruz CA. Arboretum known for plants of the 5 Mediterranean climates) yesterday to see the Puya, and came across these bulbs. 

Any ID help?

Both are very short, the purple one might be only3-5" tall.




Mystery Bulbs / ID help
March 03, 2023, 03:19:25 PM
Had these in the garden for a bit (Santa Cruz CA) and would like to know the name.
Current Photographs / Babiana framesii
March 03, 2023, 03:17:42 PM
Just getting started with these, and just what I hoped for.

General Discussion / Bulb rings - where to find them
January 10, 2023, 11:43:18 AM
Any ideas on where to get bulb rings for the garden?
General Discussion / Ferraria crispa leaves turning tan
January 09, 2023, 11:49:14 AM
I have several pots from bulb exchange and most of them are turning tan or brown and one is tipping over. Its happening outside and in my unheated greenhouse.

Any ideas or is this pretty normal coloration just sort of weak growing in more shade than sun. Santa Cruz

Title says it all, just curious about the duration?

I read 30 minutes, that sound right?

Diplarrena latifolia is the seed I am wondering about

General Discussion / Zephyranthes
September 02, 2022, 07:47:41 AM
I know these are not uncommon and a bit weedy but they sure look great this time of year.

Not sure which species this is...

While visiting the UCSC plant on Saturday the host made a comment that the flower generated its own heat to raise the temperature of the inflorescence to 90 F. 

Do these plants share this biological function that skipped the reptiles? Is it possible that the amount of stored energy and some photosynthesis metabolized during its growth releases enough waste energy as heat?
I tried the water germination method for the Rhodophiala bifidum seeds and as you can see the radicle has emerged from many of the seeds.

Should I wait until the cotyledon shows up or ?

General Discussion / Albuca bulbs not leafing out
June 22, 2022, 04:53:41 PM
I have had Albuca spirals for several years, all from seed of various sources. Every year they leaf out early, and then flower.

One pot showed little foliage but bloomed nicely which others did nothing.

One pot shows the tip of the bulb missing (no pill bugs or evidence of mice damage to the surface of the media.)

The other image is a crowded seed pot with nothing.

The only change was leaving them outside in the winter.... okay, thats a big change, but I am in Santa Cruz CA along the coast in what is called Sunset zone 17. Too cold?

I am a new member with a full packet of seeds  :)

I have years of experience with cactus and succulent seed propagation and one of the keys is best time of the to sow them.

I really don't want to list all 20 of the seed packs I have, mostly to avoid someone spending time looking up something that I can (besides this I guess).