Dormancy problems in Ornithogalum dubium

Cathy Craig
Wed, 24 Jul 2002 20:28:04 PDT
I saw Charles Gorenstein's collection two or three times. I was very new to
bulbs and so cannot tell what he was growing, Irids for sure but he had
hundreds of pots so surely he was growing many of the genus we all discuss,
and he grew every one of them in pure sand.

Jim Duggan was using the sand-on-the-bottom, then the bulb, with potting
medium above (correct me here, Jim), but is now using a different mix. Mee
can probably remember exactly what but it is one third crushed volcanic
rock. The really interesting part is that he says people always say
(especially in the older writings) not to fertilize these types of bulbs. He
says the opposite is true for him and he has been getting spectacular
results by fertilizing the devil out of them.

Cathy Craig

From ???@??? Thurs Jul 25 22:28:04 2002
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Date: Thurs, 25 Jul 2002 22:28:04
From: Paul Tyerman <>
Subject: Re: Dormancy problems in Ornithogalum dubium

Howdy again Dash et al,

Thanks for the responses.  Interesting to see how many people in how many
locations grow this.  My yellow form is actually quite compact, in fact it
has always had too short a stems for cutting really which is a shame.  It
is now a dense clump with offsets around it, never losing its leaves at
all.  Interesting to see others expereinces with the orange... obviously
the yellow is more compact (well mine is anyway). <grin>.

In response to Dash's last email (Thank you so much for keeping on
answering these questions Dash)

<<From your email>>
>yes they should be growing now. If the bulbs have not come up, dig around a
>little to see if they are still there. I am unsure if this bulb misses
>growing for a season now and then like some bulbs do.
>See if the bulbs are there. If they are, continue to keep them in the
>weather to see if they will grow. After the season has finished is the time
>to rest them.

In my original email I made sure I said that <grin> as I knew that was
going to be one of the queries ....
******** From my original email *********
I bought them two
years ago and they still haven't shot at all.  They have now been through
two complete growing seasons without sending up any sort of shoots at all.
There are 5 bulbs, all still there in the pot when I checked yesterday.  Is
there some way to "activate" them?
All 5 are still there, and they have now skipped not one but 2 complete
growing seasons while I have had the yellow form in full growth for that
whole time, without any signs of dormancy ever.  That is why I asked in the
first place as it was so wierd that one type was happy and the other not
growing at all.

So..... 5 bulbs still there, in a pot, where they have been sitting for the
last two years, not a sign of a shoot from any of them in that time.  Bulbs
still firm with no sign of any roots (nor has there ever been).  A couple
of metres away is the yellow form in full growth which has been evergreen
for me, flowering both of the last two years and even setting seed.

That is why I am confused.

So...... it looks like I leave then there for the moment and contact you
later in the year to find out when they "should" be going dormant so I can
dry them.  Using my yellow ones as a meter for this isn't going to work as
they don't go dormant at all.

Now after this i am not going to even ask about Moraea polystachya.  I have
5 of those bulbs (plus seedlings coming on) and I have never had 3 of those
grow, although the other two have every year in the past.  The two that
grew have happily flowered each year while the others have sat.  Two
different sources.  One of those that hasn't grown has now been in the
ground for 5 years and still never a shoot.  This year, not one of the 5
has appeared for me.  All 5 bulbs are definitely still there though.

I have nothing else that i know of that skips seasons regularly, just the
Ornithogalum dubium (orange) and the M. polystachya.  I was hoping there
was a simple answer, but didn't really expect there to be <big grin>.

Thanks again peoples.


Paul Tyerman

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