Ernie O'Byrne
Thu, 24 Apr 2003 16:17:35 PDT
I believe that David Hale of Portland grew Tropaeolum incisum for at least
several years and bloomed it in an oak half barrel filled completely with
only pumice. I tried to imitate the same, but mine dwindled after a few
years without ever blooming. Tropaeolum polyphyllum loved it, however, and
when I decided that, since the half barrel was rotting, to try a few in the
ground, I lifted the barrel and the bottom came out and guess where the
tubers were. Yup, on the very bottom, about 18" down!

I have several times since tried to dig out a few for sale without success;
I never found them in our sandy soil--they apparently pull themselves down
to great depths, as in the barrel.

Ernie O'Byrne
Northwest Garden Nursery
86813 Central Road
Eugene OR 97402-9284
Phone: 541 935-3915
FAX: 541 935-0863

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we
arrive at that goal."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Mary Sue Ittner
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 4:19 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Tropaeolum

Dear All,

I have created a Tropaeolum wiki page:…

And added images that Bill Dijk shared with one of the images list last
year of Tropaeolum azureum and T. brachyceras and images my husband took of
my T. tricolor. Even though Jim Forrest sent me seeds of T. azureum I never
had any luck with them so whenever I look at Bill's picture I just
sigh....But I purchased a T. brachyceras from Telos and enjoyed it very
much this winter and one of my all time favorite plants is T. tricolor
which Jana Ulmer shared with me from ones that Wayne Roderick shared with
the California Horticultural Society. I had first seen it at one of his two
times a year open houses when his bulbs are on display and thought it very

Two years ago I purchase a T. incisum from Telos. Diana has a way with
words and her description of this one made it sound so appealing. "This
rare Tropaeolum is worth growing for the leaves alone, which are deeply
incised and so incredibly glaucous that they appear to be a blue/purple
color. The yellow to orange flowers are equally lovely." She had said it
was from Chile so I expected it to be a winter grower and had just about
given up on it when it finally came up last year late February.  I'd
describe the leaves as appearing silver and they are very attractive, but
mine never bloomed. When I asked her about it she told me that she had
thought it was from Chile, but on relooking at her notes from Watson and
Flores seed saw that it was really an Alpine plant from Argentina where it
had warm to hot dry summers and snow and heavy frost in winter. She wasn't
sure how it would respond to our wet winters.

I haven't been quite sure what it needs. I gave it occasional water when
dormant and took it in the greenhouse when we had extended rainfall this
winter and with this treatment it has sprouted much later than last year,
only just recently. Alberto can you give me any advice about what it needs?
I'd grow it for the leaves alone, but would love to have it flower and I
don't want to lose it.

Thanks for any help.

Mary Sue
Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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