Watsonia bulbifera

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 04 Aug 2003 08:14:37 PDT
Dear John,

The Watsonias are crowding out the beautiful native plants along highway 
One. I know that you have a fondness for Watsonia, but this one because it 
produces all those cormlets in the stalk and seed and expands below as well 
is a menace. The cormlets get projected out a way and soon the area expands 
dramatically so all you see for quite a distance is Watsonia and much of 
the year dead Watsonia leaves which aren't attractive at all. No one comes 
along the road to cut back those leaves and destroy the corms so every year 
they expand. And to my mind the flower on this species is not dramatic for 
very long. It is rare that I have seen it looking very attractive when I 
have passed it on the highway. There are some Watsonias that have also 
naturalized along our coast that are really very pretty for several weeks 
in the spring. Their clumps expand where they have been planted, but you 
don't see the area around them in every direction become solid Watsonias.

I wish there was a way that nurseries were prohibited from selling this 
species to anyone in California and hope Lee will never plant his 
out.  When I explained the problem to Jim Duggan he took this species out 
of his catalog and I appreciate Lauw doing this as well. If we know that a 
plant can be a problem in one temperate Mediterranean climate it seems 
important to do what we can to prevent it becoming a problem in any others.

Mary Sue

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