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 EU Seed and Bulb Autumn Exchange 2023 now open for donations
Dear Members of the Pacific Bulb Society living in the EU,
Please read this information carefully and entirely.
The donation time window is now open for seed and bulbs for autumn sowing and planting. Martin has discussed the timing with me, this year we start earlier than usual. The weather in central Europe has been swinging between extremes resulting in some bulbs having already started into growth which is earlier than in previous years. Even here in Portugal we had a very late rain which moistened the compost in the pots of dormant bulbs. Some do not care but some have also already broken dormancy. It may be wise not to send bulbs which are clearly growing.
Please send your donations to
Martin Bohnet
Ludwigstr. 1
73035 Göppingen
Please send only healthy material cleaned of soil and debris. Please label each packet with the name of the plant and your own name, so that all donations can be traced to their donors.
If you are willing to do so, we would appreciate 5 portions of pre-packed seed, if you have much more or if you know the seed is very popular, you can add a larger amount in a separate envelope. This is no obligation but will reduce Martin's workload considerably. A seed portion should contain enough seed for a good potful of seedlings, in very rare seed a minimum of 3 seeds.
Free of charge seed envelopes can be requested at Martin's  <>
Please do not pre-pack bulbs.
Every paid member with a postal address in the EU is entitled to order, you do not need to be a donor, but of course, this kind of exchange depends on the generosity of the growers. Please consider a donation of surplus material.  Every donor gets a refund for the postage in form of a bonus with a minimum of 5 US$.
The precise ordering information will follow once ordering has opened.
As we start this exchange early, the donation time window will remain open for longer, closure will be announced through the same channels in due course. There will be most likely a second round this autumn, and then another Exchange in spring for summer growing bulbs.
And.... Last but not least: Please send Martin an email  <>  or a PM through the forum to announce your donation. This is important because there may be delays in postal services from some countries.
Please do not hesitate to contact me (Uli) in case of questions <>
Martin and Uli
General Discussion / Notes of Bob Werra
August 19, 2023, 01:38:03 AM
Dear Mary Sue, Dear Mike, Dear All,

Thank you very much for sharing your memories of Bob Werra who must have been a remarkable person. I have never met him but there is a lot shining through your words which does not need to be outspoken.

After reading Mary Sue's and your contribution in the email list I thought that it might be a good idea to save Bob's notes for the future, for example in the Wiki. You describe his notes like a condensed lifetime experience of a meticulous grower and good observer.

I do not know how the practical side of preserving these notes would look like, though.

Several years ago I found myself in a similar situation when the plant collection of John Lavranos was distributed after his death. John was a plantsman of the old school, generous, extremely knowledgeable and a language genius. I received about 80 pots of dormant bulbs, but unfortunately most of them without labels. I am still in the process of identification of some, there is a responsibility to preserve and care for this legacy. John's field notes are available but without labels I cannot really use them. 
I try to distribute as much as I can, his collection contains some real gems.

Bye for now 

General Discussion / Growing Scilla madeirensis
June 26, 2023, 10:48:13 AM
Dear All,

Reading the growing instructions for Scilla madeirensis (in the email list)I feel somewhat alarmed because this does not at all reflect my experience with this bulb. It must be very adaptable.....
Scilla madeirensis comes from the island of Madeira and grows at medium elevations. Madeira has a Mediterranean Climate but of a soft version being surrounded by warm Atlantic water year round (it sits in the Gulf Stream, I did snorkeling in pleasantly warm water in November) As the island has high mountains it always receives condensation from its cloud cap. But that is higher up than the Scilla grows. However, the medium and high elevations never go as dry as they would in a typical Mediterranean summer.
I agree with Jane that the word baking may be appropriate in the thing the English call ,,summer" but certainly not in warmer or Mediterranean Climates. My bulbs receive summer water (not much but they do) and are exposed to the winter rain in half shaded areas. They do not tolerate any frost. Madeira is lush and green except in the lower south facing slopes. And Scilla madeirensis grows in these lush places. It is poorly setting seed and threatened in its native habitat but grows in many gardens in Madeira. There is a closely related species, Scilla latifolia which comes from the Canary Islands (The Madeiran and the Canary Archipelago are considered as a botanical entity called Macaronesia). Scilla latifolia comes from a slightly drier habitat, is easier to grow and sets abundant seed, maybe the two got mixed up at some stage. But Scilla latifolia does not like ,,baking" either.

General Discussion / Albuca clanwilliamigloria
May 03, 2023, 02:29:32 PM
Hi all,

I have the faintest memory of a previous thread about Albuca clanwilliamae-gloria being self infertile. So imagine my surprise when I looked up in the greenhouse today saw my lone flowering individual had set fruit! We?ll see if the seed are good later this year, but I just had to share. Very exciting!

Cody Coyotee
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

Hello Cody,

This is very interesting! In general the seed set in Albuca is good if there is seed at all.
The only thing I wonder about is: are you sure that your plant is the real clanwilliamigloria? I am asking because there is a different species circulating under the wrong name of Albuca clanwilliamigloria. I have sown seed of the false one and even at the seedling stage they look different but they have not flowered yet.
The other question would be if there were other Albuca in flower at the same time so your seed could be of hybrid origin.

I hope that you don't mind that I put this thread on the forum where you can post pictures.

Bye for now 

Dear members living in the EU,

Please give Martin a shout( ) if you have a donation for the second round of the EU spring Exchange. There have been some but not very many donations so far so that the final round for this spring could be started if nothing else is to be expected. If you have something to donate we will wait for it but it would be very kind to let Martin know. We will close the donation time window in a few days, this will be announced through the same channels.
Please do not hesitate to contact Uli ( if you have any questions.

Uli and Martin 
So difficult to capture the colors of this plant. The flowers only open in direct sun but for the pictures I had to bring the pot to a shady position. Then the slender shoots sway in the slightest of breeze. I tried different backgrounds to bring the colors as naturally as possible. It's fairly okay but the original still looks better. The plant is about 85cm tall, measured from the rim of the pot.
Here it is, one of the glorious South African spring bulbs. Surprisingly easy and fast from seed.

General Discussion / EU Seed and Bulb Exchange
March 18, 2023, 01:52:52 AM
Dear members living in the EU,

In the meantime we have received quite a few items for the spring exchange.  The first round for mainly seed is scheduled for the weekend of March 24, 25 and 26. Exact timing will be posted. There is Clivia seed which should not be stored very much longer.
So, if you have items to donate for this first round, please send them as soon as possible to Martin and please let him know so that he can include your donation in the offering.
On the other hand there will be a second round for mainly bulbs in April which means that the donation time window remains open until further notice.
Please do not hesitate to contact Uli ( if you have questions.

Martin Bohnet
Ludwigstr. 1
73035 Göppingen
 Martin's email:  <>
Bye for now
Martin and Uli
General Discussion / Sowing old seed
March 12, 2023, 06:08:50 AM
Dear All,

Here is a picture I would like to share with you. It shows sprouting seed of three Dahlia species and one hybrid. Not very exciting you might think but the seed was very old, stored in paper envelopes in a domestic refrigerator (not freezer) at typical fridge temperature.
The seed of Dahlia tenuicaulis in the bottom right pot dates from a trip to Mexico in 2006, the seed in the other 3 pots was picked in 2011 in my former garden. I am particularly pleased about this germination because I had lost all three Dahlias after my move to Portugal. With better knowledge of this climate I will give them another try. The blue granules are slug pellets, I do not want that to happen.......
Dear Members living in the EU

The donation time window for the EU spring seed and bulb exchange is now open until further notice. Please read this notice carefully.

Please send your donation to                Martin Bohnet,
                                                        Ludwigstr. 1
                                                        73035 Göppingen

Please remember that bulbs should be clean and healthy and seed free of chaff and debris.
As in previous exchanges we ask you to pre-pack 5 portions of seed on a voluntary basis, the portions should contain enough seed for a good potful of seedlings, at least 5 seeds with rare plants and less with super rare ones. Seed envelopes are available free of charge from Martin: ( If there is a lot more seed available than 5 packets, you can include a larger packet for Martin to do extra portions if requested. Pre packing seed is a tremendous help for Martin. Bulbs should be sent in one bag per species and not pre-packed.

Please label each species of seed/bulb with the botanical name and your own name.

Every  donor will be refunded the postage for the donation or a minimum of 5 $, please send a copy of your receipt for postage to Martin. And please send Martin an email telling him what you sent so he knows about your donation in case of postal delay.
We will do two consecutive exchanges this spring, the time window for donations will remain open for some time.  As the weather is somewhat unpredictable at this time of the year, we suggest that you send in seed now and bulbs for the second round as they are more prone to frost damage. The second round will be announced through the same channels. Please do not get stressed with seed which is not ripe by now, or with bulbs still growing, they will be for the next autumn exchange.
You are welcome to write comments or instructions for your donated items, this will in general increase demand.

This notice will appear in the PBS Forum, in the old email list and all EU members will receive it as a private email from a mailing list.

This might be a reason for non members to consider joining the PBS, as only fully paid members with a postal address in the EU will be entitled to order.
Once Martin has compiled the new BX list it will go online through the same channels.
Please be aware that the US exchange and the EU exchange are two different ones at different dates.

Thank you all very much in advance!
Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions or difficulties. (

Uli and Martin
Current Photographs / How to attach pictures to a post
February 21, 2023, 02:10:34 AM
Following the question of a member, this is a step by step instruction how to add pictures to a post to the forum. The test picture is non bulbous deliberately.

To start a new thread and post new pictures go to the forum and choose ,,current photographs"

Go to "new topic" which is marked grey on top.

Put a suitable subject name into the blank subject box and write your text into the blank text field below. Do not yet post.

Then go down to the button ,,attachments and other options and open it. I activated the button ,,notify me of replies" this way you get an email if someone replies to your post. This setting will be saved and can be changed.

Lower down click on ,,add files" In the box drag and drop your files here. I personally do not use the drag and drop function but click on ,,add files".

By clicking on ,,add files" the software offers several options. You can take a photo straight away or go to your own storage files and choose a picture. (I am doing this with Apple on my iPad)

Once the picture has been chosen it will appear as a thumbnail in the attachment box. Next to it you must click on ,,upload" and then the attachment box will turn green. If you do not click on ,,upload" it will not work. Below a green bar will appear which indicates how much of the allocated data for one post you have used for your attachment.

You can, but you do not have to click on ,,insert". If you do, the picture will be inserted into your post as a larger picture, if you don't it will appear as a thumbnail but by clicking on it it will be enlarged. Next to the ,,insert" box is a ,,delete" box. With this the picture can be deleted before posting.

This procedure can be repeated until the green bar gets close to the end. If you attempt to attach too much, a warning will appear.

I recommend to use the ,,preview" function before posting. This enables you to correct something if necessary. The active window for corrections is below the window showing the new text.

By clicking on post your new post including the pictures will be in the forum.
Dear All,
Spring is knocking at our doors, so the next EU Seed And Bulb Exchange (BX) is in the pipeline. Please think of your fellow members when you start repotting and sowing, surplus material is most welcome. As usual we will do two spring exchanges, the first one for mainly seed will be scheduled around mid March, the second one for mainly bulbs will be later. This has worked well in the past. We are never sure how the weather will be like in March,  that is why we do a second round for the more frost sensitive summer growing bulbs. Seed is much less prone to damage than bulbs.
This is only a notice, please do not send anything as yet; we will announce the opening of the donation time window in due course through all the channels. If you need seed envelopes for your future donation, the PBS offers them free of charge, please get in touch with Martin Bohnet  <> who will send them to you.

All the information on the EU Seed and Bulb Exchange can be found here:

Please remember that the EU Seed and bulb exchange is only open to fully paid members with a delivery address in the EU. You do not need to be a donor to be entitled to participate. This is a notice for the EU only, the US exchanges follow different schedules.

And please do not hesitate to contact Uli Urban ( in case of questions.

Bye for now
Uli and Martin

Dear All,
Does anybody know of a source, or does anybody still grow two old compact selections of Zantedeschia aethiopica? One is called "Little Gem" and the other one is called "Perle von Stuttgart" which was raised in 1898 with Little Gem as one parent. I would be more than happy to refund postage, pay for a tuber or exchange with material from my collection. Please contact me privately if you can help.
Thank you very much in advance,
General Discussion / Typo in my email address
January 27, 2023, 05:52:05 AM
Dear All,

Reading the Bulb Garden journal, I noticed that there is a typo in my email address on page 2.

If you want to contact me, my correct email address is

Bye for now 


Current Photographs / Winter in the Algarve
December 27, 2022, 03:41:16 PM
Dear All,

Some pictures from my midwinter garden.

Nerine undulata (Hybrid?) is the very last one of the Nerines. The flowers are weather resistant and last very long but have never set seed.

Narcissus bulbocodium another picture in full bloom. The flowers had to stand heavy rain.

Oxalis luteola

Oxalis glabra 

Oxalis namaquana has open flowers even in the rain.

Iris unguicularis 

General Discussion / joint seed order with Silverhill
December 09, 2022, 04:46:30 PM
Dear Members living in the EU,

As an extra and exclusive service we are planning a joint seed order with Silverhill seed in Cape Town ( at the beginning of the New Year. This is a service to fully paid members of the Pacific Bulb Society. It was Martin's idea and he agreed to do the logistics like he does for the Bulb and Seed exchange. The new  Silverhill website lists a lot of mouth watering seeds and they offer a phytosanitary certificate at an affordable price.

Please read the instructions carefully and completely.

Only fully paid members have access to this service

You must have a postal address in the EU, for legal reasons we cannot ship seed to addresses outside the EU.

Please compile a list of your seed order, INCLUDING THE PRICE OF EACH PACKET and add up the total cost of the seed you want, ALL IN US DOLLARS. You do NOT need to bother about the shipping cost at this stage, neither the cost for the phytosanitary certificate. And please, do not forget to include the delivery address.

Please send this list by email to Martin <> or as a Private Message through the Forum. We will set a deadline to be announced. We plan to place the order with Silverhill in early January, Silverhill currently has a Christmas break for international orders.

Martin will collect the individual orders and will order the cumulated seed from Silverhill and pay for it. Silverhill will charge for postage to Europe and a phytosanitary certificate.

Once the seed has arrived, Martin will re-distribute the seed to the respective members. At this stage the price for the seed ordered, a share of the shipping cost from South Africa, a share of the cost of the phytosanitary certificate and the postage within the EU will be added up. You will receive a pay slip/invoice similar to the bulb exchanges together with the seed you ordered. In case of seed portions being out of stock they will not be billed.

This is a very streamlined and comfortable service for you, look at it as a Christmas gift. Please make sure that you do not cause unnecessary extra work for Martin by following these instructions. Martin will advance the money for the entire order, so please do not be late in refunding him once you have your seeds in hand, but please wait with your payment until you receive the invoice.

Please bear in mind that seed of South African origin will undergo a hemisphere swap. Which means, that seed for autumn sowing needs to be properly stored until OUR Northern Hemisphere Autumn. For spring sowing the seed should arrive on time.

The online seed shop of Silverhill is very big, so take your time over the holidays to browse, dream and.... order.

Please do not hesitate to contact Uli ( in case of questions

Merry Christmas!

Uli and Martin
General Discussion / Scilla peruviana
December 02, 2022, 10:55:26 AM

Here is Brian's question, my reply below 

In the UK (SE in my Case) This species bulb grows very easily and 
increases each year with just a couple of summer months when it is not 
visible. If left in the ground it forms a congested clump of numerous 
small bulbs after a few years and more or less stops flowering. If 
lifted and split up every couple of years you can get each group 
flowering regularly on the larger of the bulbs. Any winter frosts make 
it look a bit sad but it soon recovers before flowering. Are there ideal 
conditions that give more reliable flowering each year? What happens in 
the wild; does it form congested non flowering clumps or do much poorer 
soils and higher temperatures stop it from multiplying so much? Are we 
just too kind to it or is it our long drawn out periods of indifferent 
weather to blame?

Brian, still no real frosts so far and very green again after a period 
of several weeks drought; weeds and moss replacing some of my lawn turf.

Hello Brian,

Scilla peruviana is a Portuguese native bulb and I have seen it in different places. The species is very variable and can be compact, almost dwarf and ground hugging or tall and upright and everything in between. Flower color can vary as well as the width of the individual leaf.
A common feature of the native habitat is that it always grows in fertile soil, mostly terra rossa which is on the slightly alkaline side. It can be found from full sun in exposed places to full shade. The soil is mostly moist to wet during the growing season but will dry out in summer, even bake bone hard in many places. The bulbs sit shallowly�, sometimes slightly exposed. In the wild there can be old clumps with many flowering bulbs but most of the time they are single flowering bulbs.

The reason your bulbs divide but do not flower may have to do with frost damage to the foliage in winter and a too wet and cool (for their taste) summer. This is a greedy bulb and for producing such a large and long lasting inflorescence it needs to be well fed and must be able to photosynthesize a lot. Which it cannot do with frost damage. I think a particularly warm and sheltered spot in full sun and lots of low nitrogen fertilizer should help. My purchased bulbs from Bulb d'Argence do divide slowly and do flower every year. After flowering they produce a massive bunch of foliage. Most do not get any summer water but some do which does not make a difference in my garden. They all go dormant once hot weather sets in.  They are not fussy about the soil pH, my garden soil is very fertile on the slightly acidic side. Scilla peruviana is even able to produce bulbils along the roots which I sometimes use for propagation with selected forms but in general I prefer seed.

Hope that helps,

General Discussion / Another Nerine question
October 29, 2022, 12:38:06 PM

Apart from Wylie's questions I would like to share an observation I made the last days. At the moment I have several different Nerine in flower. Both Nerine sarniensis wild form and hybrids and Nerine bowdenii and X Amarine Belladiva varieties. What I noticed is that in most hybrids the stigma never becomes receptive. Only some plants open up the stigma into three small segments to which the pollen clings easily. Most others  maintain a pointed closed stigma to which the pollen does not seem to attach. Too early to judge if seed set has taken place in those flowers with receptive stigma. Belladivas never set seed and also none of them opens the stigma. Have you also observed this?

Bye for now 

Bulb and Seed Exchanges / EU BX closed
October 17, 2022, 03:03:13 PM
Dear Members living in the EU,
The Pacific Bulb Society autumn seed and bulb exchange for EU members is closed. Thank you very much for your generous donations and your friendly comments. It is a pleasure for us to do this. Your orders will go out in the next days to come.
This is the last EU-exchange for the year 2022, the next one is scheduled for spring 2023 and will be announced in all channels.
Happy growing!
Uli and Martin
Bulb and Seed Exchanges / EU BX donation about to close
October 07, 2022, 03:19:21 PM
Dear Members living in the EU,
The donation for the current EU Seed and Bulb exchange (EU-BX) of the Pacific Bulb Society is about to close. We plan to start the ordering three day time window on October 16th. So, if you still have any material to share with other members, please make sure that it will have arrived at Martin's prior to this date. This is the second round of the autumn EU exchange, the next EU-BX will take place in spring 2023 and will be announced in due course. Please do not get confused with the different dates of the US Exchanges.
The address to send seed or bulbs for the EU-Exchange is:
Martin Bohnet
Ludwigstr. 1
73035 Göppingen
Please send Martin an email when you post a donation so he will know about it.
Please, do not hesitate to contact Uli ( in case of questions

Martin and Uli
Bulb and Seed Exchanges / Recalcitrant seed
September 16, 2022, 02:02:00 AM
Dear All,

Reading the thread of perishable recalcitrant seed, I want to make one suggestion:

A solution could be if those members who have the space, the right climate and the willingness to do so would sow the fresh seed at the right moment (before it germinates and becomes vulnerable) and grow the seedlings on for one or maybe two seasons. And then send the seedling bulbs to the BX. Small bulbs are much tougher than perishable seed. I have accepted this kind of seed and am doing that for the EU-BX right now. For me it does not matter to have yet another pot in the garden to look after. In my Mediterranean climate all seed pots do not need greenhouse space.
Being a European member I cannot comment on the other suggestions but I want to thank Robert and the Shoal Creek folks for offering their help.

Bye for now