CA native experts needed

John Ingram
Thu, 05 Jun 2003 21:58:43 PDT
I was happily on my way to getting a load of soil for
planting more stuff today. Driving into the canyon I
saw quite a few flowers along the roadside hills. So,
I found a pull off and took a closer look (sorry, no
bulbs, or so I thought). There were quite a few things
(of which I have no idea of names) in bloom. One I
recognized as what I learned as fireweed. It is rather
attractive in masses. Anyway. I was along the road,
taking pictures of the other things blooming. Of
course, my curiousity got the better of me so I walked
a little further down the road looking into the brush
and up the hill a little way. 
What do I see but a spike of bright red/orange
flowers. So, I try to figure out if it is OK (you know
rattlers and all) to actually go in. So, I start
pushing brush aside, making as much noise as possible.
Then the fear kicks in and I can't figure out if it is
safe to crawl around this large bush or not to get to
that one large spike of orange. Well, I didn't have
to. Actually if it was a snake (that I was so trying
to avoid) it would have bit me. There was a spike of
orange 6" in front of my face. It actually was what I
has holding onto. So, to the point of the story. It
was a beautiful Delphinium. It looked to me like what
I have purchased as D. nudicale. But here is the
cather. The darn spikes on some of them were nearing
10' tall. Same cute little flowers but way over my
head. They are all just starting into bloom and many
(and I do mean many, some of which I found on my way
back out) have not even started blooming yet. They
were everywhere on this one little hill (south side on
decomposed granite). I looked at other hills but I
could not see any more while I was driving so either
they were not open yet or not there. Is this nudicale?
When ever I have seen it for sale, it is usually 4" to
1' tall and dies in the heat (or maybe it was the
extra water in general garden conditions). Is there
another similar delphinium in So Cal? That is that
The general area it was growing in is along the 210 N.
of Glendale. So, yeah, it gets hot there in the summer
and you know that it is dry!
So, yes, I did get pictures. I will get them someone
(any takers?) who can put them on the wiki for ID. I
know Delphinium aren't normally geophytes but to live
and bloom in So Cal at this time of year, there has to
be more than a few fiberous roots under there. 
Now, my next question, would it be legal to collect a
few seeds from them when they are ready? And can I
distribute them to the BX?
Another question, have these ever been hybridised with
the "modern" Pacific Giant strain to produce a heat
tolerant, "So Cal sun" tolerant, drought tolerant
plant and if so, why is it not in our gardens?

John Ingram in mostly gloomy but warm, L.A., CA. 
Not much blooming right now, just a few Crinums, a sinningia or two, and some fabulous Pelergoniums.

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