Brodiaea, Calochortus, and Triteleia

Jane McGary
Wed, 27 Nov 2002 18:35:49 PST
Georgie Robinett wrote,
>Jim grew all his [Calochortus] bulbs outdoors in Sonoma county,
>and rapidly discovered he could not grow the dryer southerners or desert
>species that way - even at 8 air miles from the ocean, our air was too humid
>for them, and even with late planting. Your circumstances are much worse for
>these species, of course.

I don't think a humid atmosphere in itself can account for failure with
southern Calochortus species. I have a number of them in my bulb frames,
and some have matured to flowering size by now (taking as long as 7 years
to flower, however). I think it is more consistently humid here in winter
than on the California coast -- I even enjoy fog on many "clear" days, when
the lowland fog rises from the valley about 11 a.m. and camps here all
afternoon. I am just below the "rhododendron belt" of the Cascades.

I think it's enough to keep actual water droplets (rain, irrigation) off
the plants, which the overhead frame lights do.

Frank Callahan believes that some of the Mexican Calochortus species are
actually among the easiest to grow in the garden, particularly those that
are from the southern limits of the genus where they get summer rainfall.

My big failure is with C. macrocarpus, which apparently grows readily east
of the mountains in eastern Washington (it is also native to eastern
Oregon). However, last year I flowered the related C. longebarbatus, grown
from seed starting in 1997.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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