bulbs that bring memories

boutin boutin@goldrush.com
Tue, 29 Jul 2003 13:09:27 PDT
Bulbs and Memories,

Thank you Judy for mentioning Elizabeth Lawrence.  That brings back the
memory of my correspondence with Elizabeth Lawrence in the late 60's and
early 70's about "found bulbs", particularly old narcissus cultivars.  I was
collecting  cv's of tazettas in southern California and buying a few old
narcissus cv's from listings in the  rural farm classified sales sheets that
came out from states in the southeast.  Elizabeth was a help in putting
names on some of these.  I still have a large pan of N. jonquilla which
dates from this time.  It flourished and flowered well in southern
California.  Grows well here in the foothills of the mid Sierra Nevada's,
but hardly flowers.

One of my clones of Ledebouria socialis came from the late Ed Carman of Los
Gatos.  It certainly brings to mind the many happy hours of talking plants
with Ed and snooping through his nursery of unusual plants.  And it's this
dwarf form of the common "violet squill" which prompted my recent interest
in the genus Ledebouria and in the variations of L. socialis.

This squill brings to mind another bulb which my grandfather always grew and
called sea squill, which would have been Urginea maritima, but I think was
actually Ornithogalum caudatum, with all the bulbils offsets under the
scales.  This fascinated me as a child.  Also in my grandparents garden was
a long wide row of Hippeastrum 'Johnsonii'.  This old amaryllis was an
unending source of bulbs for giving to friends and neighbors.  In later
years this bulb came back to me from one of  the old neighbors.  I no longer
grow it, but was happy to see it mentioned recently in the PBS.

Fred Boutin
2400 ft. elev.
zone 7
Tuolumne, CA
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