Merendera--proposed topic of the week

John Lonsdale
Tue, 30 Jul 2002 00:53:03 PDT
Mary Sue et al.,

Merendera are not just flowering in the southern hemisphere, flowering time
is getting much closer here in the eastern US !  My 'year' always starts in
September, and Merendera montana (syn. pyrenaica) is never far from being
the first to welcome in the 'New Year', along with Sternbergia sicula and
other early Colchicums such as C. macrophyllum and some of the early dwarf
species.  I grow several accessions from the Pyrenees and northern Spain,
each varying in depth of color (pink), some have a bicolor effect.  They
also vary a little in flowering time - my 5 collections initiating flowering
over a three week period.  They make fine pot specimens but also do very
well here in the open ground, being hardy to at least zone 6.  They look
superb in full sun when the open flowers lie fully prostrate on the ground
like large pink stars.  The first evidence of their reappearance is the
sight of a pinkish-white bud nosing through the grit.  They are very easy to
grow and simple to propagate, flowering-size corms making at least one
offset a year. Seedlings reach flowering size in around 4 years.  Compost
should be the standard alpine bulb mix - drainage being the key.

Best, John

Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive
PA 19341  USA

610 594 9232 - phone
801 327 1266 - fax

Zone 6b

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