flowering now

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sun, 20 Oct 2002 08:25:23 PDT
Dear Bill,

Thanks for giving us a picture of the spring flowering in Gippsland, Australia. I am looking forward to seeing your different color forms of Veltheimia. It sounds like they came true from seed. Are you finding some things are better with less rain and some things are not blooming at all? Would you give us a report?

Thanks too for adding another geophyte to one year from seed.

Also was interested in your comments about your Cyanella blooming. I too have had trouble with these and have decided they do not like to be disturbed and that perhaps I was repotting too much. I purchased a Cyanella lutea I think from Jim Duggan that took quite a few years to bloom once I planted it in my raised bed and after it started blooming reliably I realized I had put it in the wrong spot as it had taller things surrounding it so I moved it. It was years before it reappeared and I had given up on it when last year it once again came up and bloomed. I never could get some of the violet ones to bloom and in early summer last year my husband told me he had discovered something blooming in the ground (unmarked) and did I know what it was. Apparently I had planted some out which is what I do before tossing things that don't bloom and one of them was blooming. It will be interesting to see if it comes back.

Yesterday we finally had some fall sunshine. I have my Oxalis clustered on my deck as I remember Diana talking about hers in the past being dazzling. Since I have talked about them before I won't belabor the point, but the bright pink, purple, and orange flowers are such a boost to the spirits. Blooming for the first time for me from a recent Telos purchase is Oxalis callosa. It is really beautiful, kind of a pinkish purple color with a reddish purple ring and a yellow center. My husband tried to capture it with his digital camera, but the colors get washed out. I also have some Oxalis ambigua blooming with big white flowers and Oxalis polyphylla v. heptaphylla that Mike Mace gave me that has really cool leaves and the outside of the flower before it opens is bicolored and very pretty too. I gave the same clone to Lauw and Uli of Oxalis flava and they have remarked on how nice it is, but it has never bloomed for me and so far isn't this year either. But it does have interesting leaves. What I find fascinating given our earlier discussion about Oxalis not setting seed is that the bees love these fall blooming ones.

Two more of my Zinkowski nerines are blooming for the first time. One is a gorgeous bright red that is also luminous and sparkles in the sunshine. Years ago when my first Zinkowski bloomed and was not very spectacular and I talked about tossing it on the compost pile, Mike Mace protested. I have kept it and it has bloomed every year but it doesn't compare to some of these others so I am really glad I didn't give up. Andrew Wilson reports that he is getting wonderful blooms for his this year in San Diego by watering once a week in summer. Some of you may know Andrew who I have not yet gotten to join this list. He is a succulent fan (appropriate in Southern California) who once had a wonderful Oxalis collection that was eaten by rodents last year when it was so dry. So it seems the rodents do not like nerines!

This time of year I really do enjoy the Cyclamen. One pot of Cyclamen purpurascens has been blooming since July and one Cyclamen hederifolium started then and flowers of other plants of that species keep appearing. I have my first flowers coming up on C. cilicicum and some second year seedlings of a couple of species are showing up. I love Cyclamen leaves and find it interesting to see how they develop as they get older and more marked.

Mary Sue

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