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Messages - Mike Lowitz

Current Photographs / x-Amarygia
September 07, 2023, 11:48:12 AM
First of the season in San Diego.
Current Photographs / Re: April photos
April 13, 2023, 12:18:05 AM

Those are beautiful. The color tone on  blooms is really nice and deep , all nicely grown. 
I have to give Clivia credit to Fred as I shared .  The hybrid is vigorous, beautiful leaves and a stunning long lasting flower. 

I have one last Lachenalia for the season to post this week. We ate having one last blast of rain today. Hope it blooms tomorrow. 

Current Photographs / Re: Veltheimia bracteata
April 08, 2023, 01:28:01 PM
That's a really beautiful bloom, do the green tips remain or do they slowly color up? Striking flower spikes. 
Current Photographs / Re: April photos
April 07, 2023, 11:39:57 AM
In bloom
Clivia hybrid miniata x gardenii
Lachenalia Violacea
Echinopsis " Hans Sachs" just too beautiful to leave out.

Big thanks to Fred B. in Boston for hybridizing this amazing clivia in 2005.  Thanks to Ken Blackford for the Lachenalia 

A nice sunny warm weekend for San Diego
IMG_0384.jpg I IMG_0382.jpgto Resized_20230402_135539.jpg
Current Photographs / Lachenalia Carnosa
February 28, 2023, 07:41:43 PM
One of my favorite Lachenalia in my collection.
Lachenalia Carnosa

Hello All,
Some friends and I were out to visit Anza Borrego Desert State Park (Colorado Desert) a couple weeks ago. Thought I would share some pics from our outing.  To those familiar, I was on the west flanks of Coyote Mountain in the Coyote Creek Wash area. The wildflower zone trends along the base of the mountain to the southeast intersecting Henderson Canyon Road and fizzles out on the other side of the road as the natural water flow is diverted at that point. The larger section of the same  wild flower zone is at the Eastern terminus of Di Giorgio Rd. The pavement becomes a dirt road and eventually a trail.  We hiked back up the wash to the narrows to see if there were more Hesperocallis up the valley. I'm not sure if it was too early in the season, usually have visited to see wild flowers later in the season and there are many more Hesperocallis in bloom.  Is it a Super bloom, I don't believe so.  Although with the rains this past week and  more this coming week, the low desert, is pretty spectacular.  I was lucky to head out on a Monday after a rain overnight, the plants were flush with moisture and Springtime.
The Colorado Desert is the western arm of the Sonoran Desert, its also the driest. Most of the moisture for the Colorado desert is winter moisture. The eastern and southern portions are more influenced by the Monsoon and get most of their moisture in Summer. The saguaro does not grow in the Colorado desert for this reason.  We have the Ocotillo, Teddy Bear Cholla as mascot

If you have a chance to visit, well worth the effort. A good two hours from San Diego, but only 10 minutes from Borrego Springs. I'm headed out one more time, to visit a spot especially interesting for Hesperocallis Undulata. It involves a little off roading to get there, probably why its still intact with Desert Lily.  It's  in the Southwest corner of the park along the Laguna Escarpment, isolated from the three other areas I have known Desert Lily to  grow near Borrego Springs. 

Anza Borrego Desert State Park  Colorado Desert:
-Grape Soda Lupine
-Sand Verbena, ( only area where we saw White Sand Verbena, all other examples were predominated by purple )  
 Desert Big Horn Sheep Sculpture  one of 130 across Borrego Valley by  Ricardo Breceda
-Hesperocallis Undulata  ( Desert Lily)
-Cholla (ouch), Sand Verbena and Big Horn Sculpture
- Yellow Sunflower and mixed flowers
- Dodder plant ( parasitic) wrapped around  Lupine. It looks other worldly, I see it hiking in the mountains  
  and the desert. There are many species of Dodder that grow in the park.  Supposedly it will not kill the host? The 
  Lupine sure does not look happy cloaked in Dodder.  Dodder finds its pray by scent, and each.
-Grape Soda Lupine, Verbena and Desert Primrose.
-Grape Soda  Lupine again, 4 foot + flower spikes just a beautiful specimen attesting to the amount of water the desert has   seen from a strong Summer Monsoon coupled with Tropical Storm Kay. Followed by the 22/23 winter rains. Borrego Springs has had measurable rainfall each month since August.  

Its always an amazing sight to see the poppy's bloom in late Winter at least here in SoCal. 
The last time they put on a spectacular display was 2019. I saw them and took the attached photos, I believe March 14th at the Walker Canyon Poppy Reserve. It's pretty amazing when you are driving the 15 and traffic comes to a dead view the endless carpet of flowers. 
It literally was like the poppy fields in the Wizard of OZ but Orange. ( these are not opium poppy's either, so there is that too) There were police trying to keep traffic moving but people were pulling off the road on an interstate. Jumping the fence, running to the poppy field like there was free money to be found, taking a selfie, walk back to their car and get back into the traffic. It was something I thought I would never see again.....on 3-18-19, the party was over as the city/county decided to save the poppy's they needed to close the park, and just get the interstate moving. 

I can share I saw people being extremely thoughtless,  walking through the fields trampling plants.  There are many paths that meander the park. The poppy's needed a little TLC for sure. Closing the park was their answer.  April came and the short lived display faded. The hillsides and valleys dried to a crisp drab golden brown and summer began. The Poppy issue was put to bed.

No Party in Walker Canyon this year. The park has been officially closed today 2-8-23, for the remainder of the Poppy Bloom. 
The city/county have decided to close the Poppy Reserve prior to any issues developing.
The pictures I have included are from a few days prior to the abrupt closure in 2019. Where are the throngs of people destroying the poppy plants? Luckily it seemed the only areas with lots of people were within about 200 yards of the entrance area. A 10 minute walk up the main canyon and into the hills there was literally no one around.

 Heading out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park, to see the wild flowers this next week. What I have seen online, looks like it going to be well worth it. Desert Lily ( Hesperocallis undulata) seem to be blooming across the park. always a good sign out there.

Eschscholzia califorica from 2019 Walker Canyon Poppy Reserve

Cal Poppy 2019 1.jpg Cal Poppy 2019 2 JPG.jpg Cal Poppy 2019 3.jpg Cal Poppy 2019 4.jpg
Current Photographs / Hawmanthus Albiflos Rescue
November 14, 2022, 01:49:57 PM
I Have some friends that had a landscape designer add haemanthus to their shade garden..,planted deep and amongst Azaelea and camellia they were not blooming and frankly in decline.  I shared with them we could easily correct, these are great bulbs for So.Cal.  In removing them to redo the beds I found they are very prolific. I was following roots for several feet with many offsets along the way. We found the original  invoice,  they had 3 beds with 7 bulbs per bed.   I removed 65 bulbs. Replanting now Iin 3 seperate areas around the house. 
Planting  the bulbs properly and in slightly raised fast draining mix has made all the difference. See below.


Mike 8FE7EFE3-F7C9-4BE9-9BA7-46ADB2018EF0.jpg635D118A-FCBC-4A1E-838E-2955DD0537E6.jpg
San Diego
Current Photographs / Griffinia Espiritensis var Baiana
September 20, 2022, 11:21:13 AM
Just started to bloom this week
.Grif 1.jpg
General Discussion / Re: Grown from the BX/SX seed
June 08, 2022, 12:36:23 PM
beautifully grown plants the flowers are stunning, additionally the tag health after a few years is  amazing.
Current Photographs / Cyrtanthus Mackenii
June 07, 2022, 08:22:56 PM
Cyrtanthus Mackenii 

San Diego
I have had pieces of this particular Fuchsia Boliviana for over a decade....gets weedy if not trimmed up each Spring.

A hummingbird magnet and some of the most elegant hanging flowers Ive grown.

Leptotes Bicolor is a great easy to grow small orchid

Unknown Epi. Cactus....Got this at one of the sales by the Epi society locally many years ago.

Echinopsis Salmon Queen one of my favorites....( just not very salmon colored)

what non bulbs are blooming for you right now?

Mystery Bulbs / Re: Hesperantha baurii
June 02, 2022, 08:28:06 PM
Hey Fermi,

thanks for sharing that idea? I can say that the flower that is up front came from one of those flower spikes. Its hard to tell in the  angle of the photo but that flower is attached to a similar spike..... I do have ixia that I had never bloomed prior to this season, maybe they did get mixed up somehow? ( me).

Just looking at the wiki, and I think you have figured out the mystery here, thanks very much. 
Mystery Bulbs / Re: Hesperantha baurii
June 02, 2022, 07:19:16 PM

That makes total sense to do, and logical. No I didn't it sure is a beautiful flower too.  :)

Mystery Bulbs / Re: Hesperantha baurii
May 31, 2022, 08:49:58 AM
Hey Martin,

sorry I just saw this. I am not sure about the name other then  that's what the tag said frim the bulbs  in one of the BX exchanges a couple years ago  :)

It certainly is not what you have pictured in your post.  Thanks for letting me know, I do wonder what it is as I really liked the flower?