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Messages - Uli

Current Photographs / Re: July 2023 photos
July 08, 2023, 01:32:41 PM
Hello Wylie,

That is a very beautiful plant! Are the colours as brilliantly contrasting in reality?

Thank you for sharing!
Hello Mark,

I have no growing experience with this particular species. But if it is a typical winter growing plant I would not sow the seed now. I very much understand your excitement about your success and related impatience to see if the seed is viable. 
But you might kill the seedlings this way. It most likely will be viable. Some of the winter growing seed may remain dormant until the right conditions are given but some might germinate straight away. And in this case it is doubtful if the seedlings will survive.
I would enjoy the impatience for as long as possible into the autumn.....
Don't know...... in Germany it has become fashionable to plant exotics like ,,hardy" palm trees and Camellia which were considered tender a few years earlier. I did the same in my former garden in northern Germany. It worked very well and I saw a subtropical garden arising in my best fantasies...... until a ,,normal" winter came and wiped the dreams out. Climate change means more heat, yes, but it also means more extremes which may also be cold. With a new El Niño phenomenon building up we will see what it will bring to all of us.....
Hello Mark,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience. It compliments the other approach of microwaving pollen to overcome self incompatibility, however you need pollen to do that. 
So if your approach delivers pollen in a plant which normally doesn't (why not?, is there a problem with this plant?) and resulting seed, a big step forward is made. Personally I have never used gibberelic acid nor have I grown Asphodelus acaulis but I would sow the seed in the same way you would with untreated seed.

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 / Re: Evergreen Watsonia?
June 26, 2023, 12:57:17 AM
Hello Nan,

There are many evergreen Watsonia species. Depending where they originally come from, which means from either winter rain or summer rain climates they behave accordingly but some grow in moist places and remain evergreen.
There is a good reference in the pictured book.
I have made an involuntary selection towards winter growing Watsonia by killing the summer growers and evergreen ones with the same regime I apply to my winter growing bulbs. Seedlings cannot scream for water and need to be moved to the summer water crates in time......
My best Watsonia is W. marginata, going dormant now.
Beautiful plant! It is Wachendorfia thyrsiflora. There is another Wachendorfia species (W. paniculata) but it is much smaller. 

I agree with the others. There is no general treatment for winter growing seedlings during their first summer. What I do is to group the pots together which need the same treatment. All in shade. Those pots where the seedlings go completely dormant are moved to the dormant group and those which remain at least partly green are kept moist. However, even the fully dormant pots get a small amount of water every four weeks or so. Small bulbs my dry up to death if kept brutally dry for many months, especially in a hot climate. It has also happened to me that seedling bulbs have rotted with too much water during dormancy but this is the exception. I have lost more to drought. All this is a matter of constant learning and close observation.
Mystery Bulbs / Re: Not Gladiolus papilio 'Ruby'
June 11, 2023, 03:50:45 AM
Hello Diane,

If you wait for seed, this may help. Angelo Porcelli describes the seed of Gladiolus italicus as round and not winged (about the size of a black pepper grain) and the other two species have winged seed of different size (gladiolus communis and byzantininus)

I have seen a beautiful deep purple form of gladiolus byzantininus in English gardens but never managed to acquire it. Whatever I bought under this name always turned out to be something different. 
Current Photographs / Re: May 2023 photos
May 29, 2023, 03:36:29 PM
Hello Carlos,

Thank you very much for sharing these pictures. The Iris is spectacular.
For the Albuca, some questions. How tall are the flowering scapes? Do the spikes bend over with the tips pointing downward at the bud stage? Only stretching to an upright position shortly before the flowers open? 
Looking at the color of the individual flower and the size compared to your thumbnail the flowers are far too small for the true Albuca clanwilliamigloria. And are not deep yellow.
Your plant matches more a plant which I grow from Silverhill seed under the name of Albuca fragrans which is flowering now, late for a spring flowering bulb. No fragrance, at least not for my nose. A typical feature is the nodding inflorescence at the bud stage. Clianwilliamigloria does not do that. The inflorescence of fragrans is about 1m tall whereas Albuca clanwilliamigloria will reach at least 150 cm up to 2 m. 
I also have seedlings of the Pérouse ,,clanwilliamigloria" but mine have not flowered yet.
The picture attached shows the true clanwilliamigloria, not a good picture, though. And unfortunately no scale.
Current Photographs / Re: May 2023 photos
May 27, 2023, 02:39:54 AM
Hello @Martin,

Yes, the month of May is very beautiful in Germany. Here in Portugal drought has set in and only irrigated parts of the garden remain green.
Very nice pictures! I like the ,,olympic" Scilla peruviana and Triteleia hendersonii most. 
Current Photographs / Biarum arundanum
May 23, 2023, 12:35:27 AM
This unusual flower came as a surprise. I had already stopped watering the pots with winter flowering bulbs but suddenly three brown spikes popped up in one of the pots. They soon opened. With late abundant rain the pots got watered again and I observed flies being attracted to the flowers. There is a smell reminding of cow manure but not overwhelmingly bad. I will observe for seed, the flowers are short lived. The two pictures were taken 4 days apart.
Current Photographs / Re: May 2023 photos
May 14, 2023, 02:12:31 AM
Cypella aquatilis took several years to settle and grow from an offset and is flowering abundantly for the first time. Thank you, @Martin Bohnet for this beautiful plant!

Hello Peter,

If it is cool and you are tired of the rain, the flowers might not open because there is no direct sun. Many South African plants will not open their flowers on dull days.
I really like Albuca but I find them very difficult to identify. There are quite a few in my collection without a name or with a question mark behind their name. I can for sure say that it is not Ornithogalum longibracteatum but otherwise......... I do not know.

Sorry about that 

Mystery Bulbs / Re: Eremurus possibly?
May 04, 2023, 11:01:50 PM

Happy to answer your question but it would be helpful if you could send a picture of the whole plant, foliage included if there is any and some kind of scale to be able to judge the size of the plant. And also a picture with open and not closed flowers.