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Messages - Uli

#181
Hello Emil,

Many Oxalis species produce the fleshy root your picture shows. But I do not think that this is a storage organ. The fleshy root only exists on actively growing plants but once they are dormant, no more trace of the fleshy bit. I do not really have an explanation why the plants do that, my guess is that it is a contractile structure which widens the soil around the underground shoot so that the future dormant bulbs can easily descend down the gallery created this way. To me it looks as if the underground shoot has been detached from the fleshy structure.
I had to learn the hard way that pulled up Oxalis pes caprae is quite capable of forming small emergency bulbils from its own substance before it dies. So no longer will it go to the compost place. Before I understood that I contaminated an entire compost with this weed....

Uli
#182
Bulb and Seed Exchanges / EU Seed and Bulb Exchange
March 26, 2023, 10:47:04 AM
Dear members living in the EU,
The first round of the Pacific Bulb Society EU spring exchange will be closing in a few hours, tonight at 24:00 Central European Time.
The donation time window remains open until further notice, there will be a second round in April, you will be notified through the same channels.
Bye for now
Uli
#183
Dear All,
Here are some comments on my donation for the EU spring seed exchange:
Albuca pulchra: a tall summer growing and winter dormant species with greenish yellow Eremurus like flowers. Each flower has a long protruding green  bract, in bud the inflorescence looks like a long green paintbrush which wants to be stroked all the time.... The mature bulbs are very big, about the size of a grapefruit and take several years to get there from seed. Winter dormancy must be dry and frost free, best in full sun in a very large and heavy pot to prevent falling over. Albuca pulchra does not seem to be in cultivation. It is one of my favourite bulbs and I am very grateful to Monica Swartz who sent me these seeds some time ago together with other treasures. Seed set is abundant and germination straightforward at this time of the year.

Albuca nelsonii is a different story: It is an evergreen bulb and the white fragrant flowers form a tall scape well above the leaves. It makes a beautiful pot plant and can become quite big with many inflorescences. For frost free climates this is an excellent ground cover plant for dryish shade, but give it enough headroom for the flowers. It will tolerate full sun as a pot plant in northern gardens but is happier in dappled shade, especially in the south. Seed germinates easily and the young plants grow fast. They benefit from regular fertilizing. A good beginner's plant.

Clivia nobilis: very fresh seed, the fruits were harvested from the plant to be packed for Martin. Sow immediately, remove the red skin before sowing. Hanging orange flowers.

Cyrtanthus montanus and Hippeastrum evansiae. Seed of both species is from summer 2022. I have sown some seed for myself and got near 100% germination with the water floatation method. This means that the seed is placed on the surface of ordinary tap water in a suitable container. It will float until a rootlet or even a leaflet will appear. Keep the recipient with the floating seed warm and give filtered light. Watch for mildew or rot. Sinking seed is normally not viable. Once a rootlet appears plant into suitable seedling compost. Personally I do not wait for a leaflet to form in water but this will happen. But then it needs planting immediately because otherwise the reserves of the seed will be used up entirely as the water does not contain any nutrients.

Dahlia excelsa: Those of you who want to try this spectacular Dahlia ned to know that it is winter growing and winter flowering, it belongs to the so called tree Dahlias. It is less suitable for a frosty climate. Normally the first frost will destroy the top growth before it flowers. But it will still make a beautiful foliage plant and the massive tuber will survive a not too cold winter in a sheltered place in the garden with a very thick mulch which should be removed in spring. Slugs and snails may devour the upcoming new shoots. The plant has no dormant period and the tuber should not be stored dry like ordinary garden Dahlias. Dahlia excelsa and its similar looking sibling D. imperialis come from moist and temperate Mexican montane forests. In the right setting, protected from strong winds both are spectacular specimen, flowering around Christmas. The seed germinates best in COOL conditions and not in a propagator. The seed is very fresh and should give excellent results.

Phalocallis coelestis: not often enough seen.... An easy plant about 1m tall in flower with pleated leaves. No dormant period, so it wants to be kept moist year round. Very attractive plant for a large pot, it will produce its large Tigridia like blue flowers for a long time in summer. The individual flower is short lived but there will be new ones. Easy and straightforward from seed, may not flower the first year but for sure the next one from seed. Never let it dry out.

Oxalis triangularis: These funny looking rhizomes will produce dark purple leaves and pinkish white flowers in summer. It has a short winter dormancy. Unfortunately I forgot these rhizomes in a corner before posting them to Martin, so they went a little soft. I recommend soaking them in lukewarm water overnight (but not longer than that) before planting. In full sun the leaves are very dark. It is an attractive pot plant in its own right but also a good soil cover in large containers, that is how I use it. It is not invasive but in my former German garden I noticed that it can survive outdoors in the open garden, not reliably enough to be considered hardy.


Happy growing!
Uli
#184
Current Photographs / Re: March photos
March 18, 2023, 08:24:16 AM
Hello All,

Some more pictures from my garden, some bulbs flower for the first time.

Arum creticum
, unfortunately the flowers are short lived 

Geissorhiza splendidissima
, first time flowering from Silverhill seed. 

Gladiolus splendens
Flower Colors: red
Climate: winter rain climate
, multiplies very quickly. This is a pot grown specimen, I cannot grow it in the open garden as rodents will feast on the corms.....

An excellent golden yellow Freesia Hybrid 

Gladiolus alatus
Flower Colors: orange, white, yellow
Life form:  corm
Climate: winter rain climate
from US BX, first time flowering. In companion planting with Oxalis obtusa and a fragrant yellow Lachenalia which was received as seed of L. aloides from Silverhill but which is something different 

Ornithogalum dubium
, wild form. An excellent form from Silverhill Seeds. It is smaller than the ones on steroids which are sold in garden centers but I never managed to keep the commercial ones alive after flowering. The wild form is very easy and reliable and flowers the third year from seed. Quite amazing as one year old seedlings look hair-like.



#185
Bulb and Seed Exchanges / EU Seed and Bulb Exchange
March 18, 2023, 01:56:34 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 (johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de) if you have questions.


Martin Bohnet
Ludwigstr. 1
73035 Göppingen
Germany
 Martin's email:  <garak@code-garak.de>
Bye for now
Martin and Uli
#186
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 (johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de) if you have questions.


Martin Bohnet
Ludwigstr. 1
73035 Göppingen
Germany
 Martin's email:  <garak@code-garak.de>
Bye for now
Martin and Uli
#187
It looks like a Freesia to me, maybe of the former Lapeirousia group.
Any fragrance?
Otherwise I would not know 
Uli 
#188
General Discussion / Re: Sowing old seed
March 13, 2023, 02:03:13 AM
I use Methaldehyd to be sure. These pellets will also become mouldy after some time and in fragile and valuable seed I replace them with fresh ones.
My seed trays and pots are covered with wire mesh to exclude birds so this protects against accidental intoxication at the same time.
#189
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.......
#190
Current Photographs / Re: March photos
March 09, 2023, 11:47:37 AM
I checked the label of the Hermodactylus tuberosus
today, it is a collection from Crete.

Here is a picture of the seed pod.

Tropaeolum brachyceras
is starting to flower......

Bye for now

#191
Ants can also carry seed to the most unlikely places. And both species you mention have a sugar rich appendix to their seeds which is attractive to ants. They eat the sugar and discard the seed.
#192
Current Photographs / Re: March photos
March 08, 2023, 01:33:40 PM
Hello @Martin, 
I will check the label of my Hermodactylus tomorrow. Off hand I can say that it is definitely not from Oron Peri. I got it from a friend. It flowers for the very first time with me and I quite like it. Today I noticed green dangling round/oval seed pods.
VERY rainy here right now most flowers smashed.

Talk to you tomorrow,

Uli 
#193
Current Photographs / Re: March photos
March 07, 2023, 08:01:16 AM
Hello Arnold,

We started this new topic within minutes at the same time.....
#194
Current Photographs / March photos
March 07, 2023, 07:59:53 AM
Dear All,

Here are some impressions from my garden in March 

Iris cretica. This magnificent plant was given to me in October last year as a small division. I hope it will make it through the summer....

Oxalis obtusa, large Namaqualand form. One of the very best Oxalis. From the collection of the late John Lavranos. The flowers remain open even on dull days.

..... not a geophyte..... but Salvia libanensis is so beautiful. A difficult plant to maintain here, though 

Hermodactylus tuberosa, difficult to catch the complex colour in a picture 

Oxalis, unknown species, I love the foliage. New to my collection. Can anybody identify it?

Gladiolus aureus, grown from Silverhill seed. I do hand pollination to get seed of this endangered species 






#195
Mystery Bulbs / Re: Freesia?
March 07, 2023, 06:59:29 AM
Are the leaves pleated? It could be a Babiana. I have had single other seedlings coming up in a batch of seedlings from Silverhill seed. 
But with so many different South African bulbs it is impossible to tell what it is without flowers.