Calochortus hardiness and picture

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 03 Jun 2003 10:16:17 PDT
Dear Jim W. and all,

I've been trying to stay out of this since you asked for responses from 
people in cold climates. There are a lot of Calochortus that come from very 
cold areas. You could probably grow them easier than some of us from mild 
climates. But you'd probably have to go the seed route. Diana wrote an 
excellent introduction to the cold ones a number of years ago. If you 
didn't save it, I still have it.

Also there was a man who reported good success with a number of Calochortus 
in a cold climate that you'd never think he could grow. He buried them 
under quite a lot of straw. His climate was relatively dry in winter so he 
started them into growth later when the worst of the cold was over (kind of 
like dry under snow like a lot of them may be in the wild.) If you had wet 
cold winters without snow that might not work.

One other comment. Calochortus, like a lot of other bulbs, sometimes 
chooses to stay underground so you may find you have more than you think in 
subsequent years. Hugh MacDonald once wrote he was amazed when he emptied 
out pots where nothing had grown to find there were bulbs there after all.

I have been watching a spot where Calochortus vestae bloomed in the ground 
the last two years and was so disappointed it wasn't there. This week I see 
a stalk. Why the ones in pots emerged in December and this one now is a 
mystery. I also had some C. uniflorus appear in the ground this year from 
planting years ago that I had never seen. Speaking of vestae, I had a pink 
one in bloom this year from seed Bob Werra gave me. It starts out deep pink 
and fades to white. It's very beautiful.…

Mary Sue

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