L. pitkinense

Kenneth Hixson khixson@nu-world.com
Tue, 01 Jul 2003 09:30:07 PDT
Dear Diana-
>The growth is described as "rhizomatous", but my plants would form densely
>clustered masses around the main plant stem, all covered in scales.  They
>could be separated by cutting into chunks.  They could not be pulled apart,
>and I would not have described this as "rhizomatous"
	L. pardalinum usually forms rhizomes which form multiple branches,
and the branches in turn rebranch-not just in one layer, but up and down as
well as on a level.  In a very few years there is a huge mass of bulbs and
stems, none of which get enough nutrients, thus non flowering.  Dividing 
L. pardalinum often sets it back and it "sulks" for a couple years.  I've 
often thought that is because the division is done too late, in the fall like
most other lilies.  L pardalinum, being adapted to west coast growing
makes its' new roots much sooner than lilies from other areas, and digging it 
too late would result in "losing" this years' roots.  I have often wished I
could compare digging and dividing as soon as the leaves brown with digging
in late August.  Early September is probably too late-new roots may have
started growing.

My plants did not show any sign of virus the
>first two or three years, so they could have acquired it in my care or could
>have been virused to start out with.  The plants CNPS here (Humboldt County)
>are selling now are virused.  
	I have less problem with west coast lilies getting  virus than most other
lilies-but then I may not have the aphids and leafhoppers you have.

There is no such thing as L. pardalinum ssp.
>giganteum (although CNPS still calls it that), and the USDA and Fish & Game
>both say it is L. pitkinense.  My plants were destroyed.
	Well, actually, yes there is.  At one time, L. pardalinum ssp. giganteum
was called L. harrisianum, but the trend in recent years has been to submerge
most west coast lilies into L. pardalinum, one enormously variable species.
First L. harrisianum became L. pardalinum ssp. giganteum, then just L.
In this same vein, L. pitkinense may be L. pardalinum-and actually, that
might be justified, though it was as distinct as L. harrisianum.  If they are
both L. pardalinum, they are the same species, but not the same thing.  It is 
about like saying a pink hyacinth and a blue hyacinth are both hyacinths,
so they are the same thing.
	I no longer have L. pitkinense, but what I grew under that name had bulbs
which were much less vigorous and spreading.  They did have rhizomes, and they
did branch, but not as much as L. pardalinum giganteum.  The plants also were
smaller in all parts than the L. pardalinum I had, which again was smaller
than L. pardalinum ssp. giganteum.  L pitkinense was originally found in the 
Pitkin Marsh, and for a long time that was the only location, and there were 
only about fifty plants when the species was named.  A few years later it was
reported that blackberries were invading the marsh, and after an estensive
search only seven plants were found.  I believe Mary Sue mentioned a second 
location, which I haven't otherwise heard about.  Given that the name 
is being used for two very different plants, it shouldn't be any surprise
there is a lot of confusion about what L. pitkinense really is.  One of the
pictures in my email yesterday was from a man in England, wanting to know if
what he had was L. pitkinense.

More information about the pbs mailing list