Watsonia meriana bulbilifera

John Bryan johnbryan@worldnet.att.net
Tue, 12 Aug 2003 13:48:12 PDT
Dear Mary Sue:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I can understand your point of
view, but do not agree with you. I do agree that Cortaderia jubata
should be eliminated, this is a weed that is also a fire hazard,
Watsonia will never be a fire hazard. Perhaps the point is are all
exotic species to be removed and only indigenous species to remain? If
such is so, then the majority of grasses on the hillsides in California
should also be removed as they are imports from Europe and few native
grasses remain. The large number of trees along Highway one are also not
native to the area. Where does one start, where does one stop? In the
overall scheme of things, the Watsonias are, in my opinion, very low on
the priority list for removal. I will, God willing, be going up along
this route again soon. I must stop and gather some of the bulbils.
Perhaps my opinion is influenced by memories of South Africa. I wonder
why, if this species is such a problem, that it has not become a problem
in its native habitat. Cheers, John E. Bryan

Mary Sue Ittner wrote:
> Dear All,
> Last week we were able to drive by one of the weedy public patches of
> Watsonia that I mentioned earlier. We didn't get a chance to stop and take
> a picture until we were on our way home and then it was late in the day and
> not everything is in focus. But you can see the potential problem with this
> species when you look at all those bulbils on one stalk! Think of them all
> falling off and extending in all directions. They can root right on top of
> the soil. I was paying attention as we drove and there are some really bad
> patches next to the highway and other places where they are only a few
> plants now, but will be hundreds in years to come. These pictures were
> taken right along Highway One next to Salt Point State Park. I added the
> text below and pictures to the wiki:
> Watsonia meriana ssp. bulbilifera produces bubils in the leaf axis and in
> the right climate can become a big pest as it has in coastal northern
> California. These two photos by Bob Rutemoeller although not very clear
> show the large number of bubils and the drying foliage which makes an ugly
> and ever extending display along Highway One in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/…
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/…
> Roy, if your plants did not produce these bubils maybe what you have is not
> the problem plant.
> Mary Sue
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