diana chapman
Thu, 19 Jun 2003 09:10:12 PDT
Der Mary Sue and All:

I have been thinking more about height in Brodiaea.  As I mentioned, B.
terrestris and B. minor, as well as B. jolonensis, all remain short in
cultivation regardless of how they are grown. Most of the other Brodiaeas I
grow are taller than mentioned in Jepson, but this is not entirely due to
cultivation techniques.  In the wild I have found very great discrepancies
in height, usually dependent upon whether they are growing in taller
grasses, or in exposed areas with little competing vegetation.  It is likely
that the first descriptions of many of these bulbs were made when California
was not completely blanketed, as it is now, with alien annual grasses that
grow to some height.  In the past the dominant grasses were bunch grasses,
which left spaces between the individual plants that were colonized with
geophytes and flowering annuals.  In such conditions, most of the Brodiaeas
would not be competing with taller grasses for light, and would remain
compact.  Today, however, they are growing mixed in with tall grasses, and
if they survive in such conditions, they grow tall.  The recent population
of B. stellaris that we found had only had a few short plants near the edge
of the colony where there was no competition with taller plants, while the
vast majority of the plants reached at least 30cm (Jepson says 2-6cm!).


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mary Sue Ittner" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 9:19 PM
Subject: [pbs] Brodiaea--TOW

> Dear All,
> Here is the information on the species I don't grow. It sounds like Diana
> grows two of them. Does anyone else grow any of these? I am wondering how
> many if any are in cultivation.
> Brodiaea appendiculata--Commonly known as Hoover's brodiaea, this plant
> which is endemic to California, is found in valley grasslands, open
> woodlands, gravelly clay soil from the San Francisco Bay Region to the
> Sierra Nevada foothills. Blooming from April-May with violet purple
> this species is very similar to Brodiaea californica with flowers curving
> upward and with linear white wavy staminodes longer than the functional
> stamens, but is differentiated by having forked linear appendages on the
> back of each anther. Only one other species has appendages (B. stellaris)
> and it is a much shorter plant.
> I am including this subspecies since it is rare and am wondering if anyone
> grows it:
> Brodiaea coronaria ssp. rosea--This subspecies, known as Indian Valley
> brodiaea, is endangered and is shorter than the other subspecies with
> smaller rose to pink flowers, often with pink staminodes, and is found in
> the serpentine grasslands in three counties of the North Coast ranges
> (Tehama, Lake, and Glenn.)
> Brodiaea insignis--Commonly known as the Kaweah brodiaea, this species is
> endemic to California and known from approximately twenty populations in
> the watersheds of the Tule and Kaweah Rivers in Tulare county occurring in
> clay soil on granitic substrate in valley grassland and foothill woodland.
> It has rose to pink-purple flowers, spreading petals. It is distinguished
> by white staminodes that are held close to the stamens and are strongly
> inrolled.
> Brodiaea kinkiensis--Commonly known as San Clement Island brodiaea this
> species is endemic to California and found in clay soil in valley
> in Los Angeles County and the Channel Islands. It is extremely rare. The
> flowers are purple or violet with a narrow bell-shaped tube and spreading
> lobes. The inner tepals are round, the staminodes erect with a pointed tip
> and held away from the stamens. This is the one Diana grows and says the
> staminodes are also purple. My books say it is very short, growing to 1
> (2.5 cm.). How big does it get in cultivation Diana?
> Brodiaea minor--Commonly known as low brodiaea or dwarf brodiaea, this
> species, endemic to California, is found in clay gravelly soil in
> grasslands and foothill woodlands in the hot foothills of the Sacramento
> Valley. Flowers are pale bluish to lilac with narrow petals and the tube
> pinched in just below the petals. The staminodes are erect, white, held
> close to the stamens, inrolled with a notched tip. Another short species,
> this one blooms from March to April. This is the one that I have not been
> successful with but Diana grows.
> Brodiaea orcuttii--Commonly known as Orcutt's brodiaea, this very rare
> species is found in clay soil on serpentine substrate under
> vernally-flooded conditions in meadow and vernal-pool habitats in
> and San Diego counties to Baja California. The red-purple to blue flowers
> with widely spreading lobes are similar to B. filifolia but have no
> staminodes. This plant blooms April-July.
> Mary Sue
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