Joyce's bulbs for Davis

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 08 Jul 2002 21:26:39 PDT
Dear Joyce, 

You may not have time to respond to this before you go, but I am absolutely fascinated with your list, both in what is on it and what is not. Some of those things you have chosen I thought were a bit of a challenge to grow and flower and some of the ones I find really easy and pleasing are not on your list. Perhaps Silverhill wasn't selling those seeds. And I know Davis is different as Roy has pointed out so well in his introduction. 

I was puzzled about your excluding Lachenalia but I guess it must be because you think it would get too cold. Many of them seem to do fine without so much sun and I remember Don Journet on the IBS forum saying that trees provided frost protection for him in Australia but you could be right.

Geissorhiza aspera, monanthos, radians, and inaequalis are all really great plants here provided they get enough water. Sparaxis elegans is very pretty and there are a number of Romuleas I'd want to have although I like the ones you picked. (eg. Romulea monadelpha, Romulea flava for instance). Ixia polystachya (and I wonder if that is the one Paul is talking about since the name he quotes isn't in the Ixia revision is a nice late blooming one) and Ixia viridiflora is certainly a crowd pleaser (one of your alternates.) Hesperantha vaginata is so stunning, but since there is only one place it still grows maybe Rachel doesn't have seed of it either. Moraea aristata may not be available but I'd want it. There are some other low growing Watsonias that are good in containers. The Australian list has been talking about Polyxenas and Massonias. I have not grown too many to flowering yet, but love the ones I have. Massonia pustulata is absolutely wonderful, leaves and flowers. Julian Slade had a picture of a pot of them on the Australian images list that was to die for. Spiloxene canaliculata is another super plant. I suppose it might be too cold for Veltheimia bracteata. That Galaxia you chose (Moraea now) has never ever bloomed for me more than part of a day a year. Mike Mace said he has gotten repeat blooms so it may be they just don't like it here. They are going the way of the rain lilies. I just don't have room for plants like that. What if bloomed on a day I wasn't able to look and and I missed it? I'd have to wait another whole year.

Anyway thanks so much for telling us about your project, the careful way you went about selection, and keep us posted on which of the ones they grow turn out to be the best. It must have been really fun deciding. Something like we all do each year when seed lists arrive.

Do other members of this group have specific South African bulbs that seed is available for that tolerate a little cold, can be grown in containers, and they would have on a list they could make if someone asked?

Mary Sue

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