Portland meeting

Pacific Rim Native Plants paige@hillkeep.ca
Sun, 11 Aug 2002 17:38:25 PDT
My mother and I are just back from the Aug. 10 meeting of
the Pacific Bulb Society in Portland, Oregon.

Frank Callahan gave a wonderful slide presentation on
Calochortus, featuring dozens of spp.:  panoramas of them in
their habitats and sumptuous closeups of their distinguishing
traits. We drove eight hours each way to hear that talk and found it
entirely worth our while.

I'm not sure how many attended. Perhaps a dozen? Several
people prominent in the world of west-coast bulbs had said they'd
be there, but weren't. Cathy Craig, known to you all, came up
from California -- it was great to meet her, so full of energy.
Hi, Cathy!  Jay Lunn, known to me as a Penstemaniac, turned out
to be a bulb loony as well. Hello, Jay! Those of you who didn't
make it, missed a lot.

Frank's long chapter on Calochortus in Bulbs of North America is
very useful, but his talk in Portland persuaded me that it would
be botanically enlightening, not to mention dazzling, to see all
the Calochortus species compared in greater depth, side by side,
in closeup and microscopically. Preferably in a book, though a CD
or a website would also work. The photographs Frank uses, some by
him but most by John Erwin, are outstanding. John was also at the
Portland meeting and showed us a binder of images shot through an
electron microscope that truly make a bulb lover's heart go

But there was also a bulb exchange. Loren Russell showed slides
of some bulbs he encountered in Europe, among them
the delectable Pancratium illyricum, and no sooner was the
projector turned off than I saw a small bag with his scribble on
it -- Pancratium illyricum! A single bulb, raised from seed,
looking lonely, so of course I offered to give it a good home.

Jane McGary, who organized this meeting, showed slides of those
bulb frames she so often mentions in emails to this and other
plant groups. Yes, they are vast; yes, they are tidy; and yes,
they are brimming.

Jane also contributed beyond generously to the bulb exchange.
Among many other treasures from her that fell into my clutches
were Triteleia dudleyi, a yellow, alpine brodiaea; and
Fritillaria liliacea, rare but from cultivated seed.

Another treasure I picked up, at the urging of Jane and Loren,
was Ranunculus calandrinioides. I had never seen it -- my
ignorance is vast -- but when I looked it up on the net last
night, I was thrilled. Wow! I'm not sure who the donor was;
perhaps Ernie O'Byrne, who could not be present but sent some
contributions? Whoever brought it: thank you, thank you!

Paige Woodward
On top of Chilliwack Mountain in southwestern British Columbia,
Wet Zone 6
Latitude - Longitude :  49° 09' 00" N - 122° 01' 00" W

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