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Messages - Steve Marak

Thanks, Rick!

Quote from: Rick R. on June 06, 2022, 03:26:24 PMIf you dig distichum bulbs, all or most of the scales should be articulate.  Tsingtauense bulbs do not have articulate scales.  I haven't noticed any articulate scales in hybrids, either.
I'm not knowledgeable about lilies and have nothing useful to contribute to the discussion, but as a lily novice may I ask what is meant by the term "articulate scales"? I asked a friend who is a lily breeder and he didn't know either (but did kindly explain another term of lily scale morphology I didn't know, "jointed scales").


Quote from: Robert_Parks on May 30, 2022, 06:50:38 AMMy Sauromatums may have gotten pollinated this year, as the flowers are only lasting a few days (last year they remained for weeks!) we'll see. The only other aroid that sets seed is Zantedeschia aethiopica (various forms).
I noticed tips of Sauromatum just above the soil while taking the Dracunculus pictures so they'll be flowering soon here.

I've tried Zantedeschia aethiopica outdoors here several times and the issue isn't cold-hardiness of the geophytic part, but that it gets fooled by early warm spells and then zapped by late hard frosts. (Dracunculus puts foliage up in late February and it will tolerate 20 F [-7 C] no problem, which still surprises me.) Zantedeschia species and hybrids which are theoretically less cold hardy often do better outdoors here because they break dormancy much later, and will persist a few years, but an unusually cold winter always gets them eventually.

Interesting as I'd have expected it to do better in SF than NW Arkansas. Here it will tolerate full sun but is much happier in half shade.

Sauromatum venosum is also hardy here and has also been outdoors 30+ years, surviving brief lows around -20 F (-29 C) several times. It also flowers every year, and often sets seed, as does Dracunculus vulgaris. Amorphophallus konjac grows well and flowers but never sets seed.

General Discussion / Re: Invasive Bulbs
May 29, 2022, 08:24:03 PM
Quote from: Rdevries on May 04, 2022, 06:32:13 AMMost older lawns in the Mid South are made up of
Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem).
Muscari armeniacum
Wild onion
No matter how much you dig up the clumps you always miss some
In NW Arkansas, a number of non-native bulbs persist for many years around old home sites; a few of them (Narcissus, Muscari, Leucojum, Lycoris x squamigera and L. radiata) will slowly naturalize into larger clumps but I don't consider them aggressive or invasive. The one that is, and a real nuisance here is Ornithogalum umbellatum.

Arum italicum is about to make my list too. I had one clone which stayed put for years. When I got a 2nd, I began seeing seedlings everywhere.

I detected a stench while stacking pots in the bleach barrel today, so I was pretty sure the first Dracunculus vulgaris inflorescences were open even before the Turkey Vulture buzzed me at low altitude. Other than our native Arisaema, this is the tuberous aroid I've grown outdoors the longest, and it's still a favorite. I'm curious how many others grow this surprisingly hardy, very easy, and dramatic species?

NW Arkansas
General Discussion / Re: Resnova megaphylla
May 29, 2022, 05:26:04 PM
Martin, yes, I find the picture attachment process here strangely counterintuitive; I thought I'd deleted the duplicate and replaced it with the correct one. But during the battle I had to kill that browser tab, so something may have been left in process. We'll see if I've learned anything soon.

Back on topic, I've taken a couple of Ledebouria leaf cuttings, much earlier than last year, to see if that improves my success rate. It wouldn't take much since it was zero last year.

General Discussion / Re: Resnova megaphylla
May 14, 2022, 02:06:48 PM
Quote from: Rdevries on May 12, 2022, 08:39:08 AMIn Last years discussion someone stated that leaf cutting do not work on Ledebouria. You should test this!
Now is the time to take resnova leaf cuttings. 
Interesting. I was one of those last year asking about propagating Ledebouria from leaf cuttings. I have several L. zebrina I'd like to propagate, and none has ever made an offset. I tried several cuttings from each of them last year, taken after flowering but well before any signs of leaf senescence. Total failure. But I'll try again this year, with younger leaves.

Rimmer, in general your Resnova seem to have better leaf markings that mine - you can see a good one and a not-so-good one in the attached image. I've managed to set seed on the Resnova again this year,  but I'll try a few leaf cuttings of those too.


Very nice, Rimmer! Do you grow all of your Ledebourias in pure pumice?

I've moved away from perlite to pumice, but usually it's only about a third of my mix even for things that need fast drainage.

Quote from: David Pilling on May 03, 2022, 07:02:43 AMI've found a possible extension for the forum, in the docs it says:

Actual state:
User will get notified of new posts if subscribed to the corresponding topic.
User will get notified of new topics if subscribed to the corresponding board.

Target state:

User will get notified of new posts if subscribed to the corresponding topic.
User will get notified of new topics and new posts if subscribed to the corresponding board.

Points being, it thinks the starting state is different to what was described previously, and would the result of adding it be more palatable.

Hi David,

If it really does what the straightforward interpretation of that wording suggests, with no unmentioned exceptions, then it's what I'm after. Of course, I thought that was the case with the existing options and found they don't really work the way they're described.

Again, I'd be quite happy with a one or two line summary for each new topic or post; I only selected "Immediately" and "Receive body in email" because they were there and, had it all worked as the descriptions seemed to imply, that would have saved me a little time.

Quote from: David Pilling on April 29, 2022, 04:23:58 PMI spent a long time trying to follow the SRGC forum using email notifications - the fact that one only gets one notification per topic is not a surprise. I am more surprised about the described airy fairy nature of notifications per board - I wonder what actually happens.

But whatever, this is the software we are using. PBS knew about the limitations from the start.

I get the impression there is little enthusiasm for email notifications from forum software authors. If you're going to send out emails for everything, you might as well have a mail list. We have talked about the problems of emails - bounces, spam blocks etc.
I'll take this as meaning you also have frustrations with the way forums in general, and apparently this one in specific, work. Though I'm not a fan of forums for many reasons, I'm trying to make this one work decently for me.

I'm not really trying to follow the forum by email.  I'd be perfectly happy with a once-a-day email that listed every new topic created in every board I'm following and every reply to a topic I'm following with just one or two lines per entry. My goal is to make sure I don't miss something in which I'm interested without having to constantly check the forum and click on things in which I'm not interested - which seems like a very reasonable thing.

I haven't tried the daily summary option for notifications on the PBS forum, for two reasons. One is that I assume it's rather like that of other forums of which I'm a part, and it hasn't worked very well for me on those. But the main one is that the PBS forum shows two options for immediate notification - "Immediately" and "Immediately, but only for the first unread message". Immediately for all messages was ideal for me, so I chose the former, and that's what appears in my profile under notifications, but the emails I'm getting sound like the latter. I'm not sure now what the difference between the two is.

Does anyone know if the daily summary includes more than just the first reply to a topic, or the first new topic created in a board, and if you continue to get them even if you don't check in for a day or two? If it does, I'll switch over to that.

(I understand what you're saying, David, and it's a topic I've avoided, but I feel compelled to note that I don't think PBS as a whole did know about the limitations of this software from the start.)


A slight tangent on the original thread, but still related to notifications. Here's some text from a "new topic" notification I received:

"A new topic, 'Nurseries Exporting Tecophilaea Corms to the USA?', has been made on a board you are watching.

You can see it at

More topics may be posted, but you won't receive more email notifications for this board until you return to the board and read some of them."

This suggests (states?) that I won't get any notifications of additional new topics on that board until I go look not just at the overall board, but actually look at some (unspecified number of?) topics that I haven't read in that board. That's exactly the opposite of what I want, and seems very user unfriendly and not very helpful. The whole point of new topic notifications is to let me know when something new shows up in a board I follow, and to give me some idea of whether I'm interested. I can see not sending any more notifications about that one topic until I read it, but why should I have to go look at topics I know from the subject or included text that I'm not interested in seeing in order to be notified of additional new topics which I am interested in seeing? With the mailing list I can ignore/delete/archive any thread I wish very simply and still see every new thread that comes along without fear of missing anything. How can I replicate that behavior on the forum, please?

Thanks for checking, David. That's a shame, creation of a new board is something I'd think a lot of us would like to be sure we didn't miss, rather like BX/SX notifications.

Yes, I've moderated a mailing list for decades, so I've spent a lot of time following up on bounces, automatic discards generated by changing email addresses, etc. etc. But I've about got it down to a science at this point. Spam settings of end users, both under their control and not ... it's a problem, but I've never found much to do about it.

Since I've only been a user of forums and not an administrator, I'm not familiar with the interface from this or any forum software to the mail server, but bounces really just disappear and it's not configurable? Not even basic mail client functionality in the forum?

Hi David,

Actually 4 now - 3 "topic reply" emails in the last 7 hours, and the first ever "new topic" email about 4hours ago for the "General Discussion" board.

For "topic reply" that seems correct, since I've only posted 3 times today (or recently, for that matter) and I got one email each for the next post in whatever thread after mine.

For "new topic" ... well, I wish now I'd logged each time I changed my profile settings while playing with this; I was trying not to turn on a flood of email alerts. I was pretty sure I'd turned those on for the "Bulb and Seed Exchanges" board prior to the last new topic being created there, since that was a board in which I knew I didn't want to ever miss anything, but sadly I have no way to verify that now.

While on the topic of notifications, is there a way to be notified about the creation of new boards that I'm missing somewhere?



I realize you're wanting to keep the poll simple and easy, but it's not really a simple question for some of us. For visits to the PBS wiki to look up a plant, I use whatever device I have at hand (since we both work in IT, we have at least two of pretty much everything, phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop). I do read email on other devices, but for writing email or posting to the forum, I greatly favor my laptop - but only because that's the smallest device that has a "real" keyboard, which means I can type very quickly.