Triteleia--PBS Tow

John Lonsdale
Sun, 05 Jan 2003 14:39:34 PST
Was that the introduction or the monograph ?  Wonderful (and thanks) !

I have a few Triteleias here, some of which are on my web site
ia), with lots more coming along from seed.  They appear trouble free so
far, and those outside seem reasonably hardy, planted in sand with no
protection.  That said, we haven't had a really hard winter to test them.
Their relatively late flowering is a big bonus.  I had my IDs all messed up
until none other than MSI very helpfully put me straight, for which I was
very grateful.  Germination of seed, either fresh or up to a couple of years
old is very rapid in early spring and the seedlings come back just fine
after their first year's dormancy.  They seem a little on the small side,
but I suspect that is due to their being so many in the seed pot rather than
them being naturally slow growers ?

Many of these western US bulbs are relatively new to me and it is a great
thrill getting the chance to grow them.


Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341,  USA

Phone 610 594 9232
Fax 801 327 1266

Visit "Edgewood" - The Lonsdale Garden at http//

Zone 6b

From ???@??? Sun Jan 05 2003 18:42:31 PST
Reply-To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
X-Mailer: EarthLink MailBox (Windows)
From: "Diana Chapman" <> 
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Subject: Triteleia
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 18:41:2 -0800

Hello All:

I have to jump in on this one!!!

I have found all the Triteleias very easy to grow and quite adaptable.

They aren't what I would call "slow", usually blooming in their third year from seed, and very reliably blooming in their fourth. Like Calochortus seedlings, they respond really well to fertilization, and regular feeding can take a year off the time they will bloom from seed.

I would just like to mention their ornamental value.They are often described in books as not being very showy, possibly because they don't photograph that well. If massed in a pot or in the ground they are absolutely wonderful, and unlike Calochortus, take very readily to garden conditions. My plants have all survived temperatures as low as 15F without any deleterious effect (and that was in their pots, too). Because the individual flowers open in succession, the bloom time is quite prolonged, and nearly all make wonderful cut flowers.

Some are scented, like T. hyacinthina, although this varies from one population to another.

My favorites are:

T. bridgesii, since it has quite a range of color from plum through purple, lavender and blue, to almost white.

Mary Sue mentioned in some species the glassy sheen, but this is striking in this particular species, lending it a sparkle almost as intense as Nerines (many others share this characteristic).

T. peduncularis is another favorite, since it is one of the last to bloom in my collection, and the umbels are enormous - as much as 10-12" across. The deep purple flush on the outer tepal is very attractive.

The large-flowered forms of T. laxa. These, too, have very large umbels. The one offered from the Netherlands is a good deep blue, although not large, but the ones in Butte County and elsewhere are huge, also with a pronounced sparkle, and usually a wonderful delicate shade of pale blue with lavender tints. These ones offset only rarely, but make very large bulbs. 

Actually, I wouldn't be without any of them - I think they are grossly underrated!


--- diana chapman

More information about the pbs mailing list