Jane McGary
Thu, 19 Jun 2003 09:57:39 PDT
Mary Sue listed some of the rarer Brodiaea species she does not grow and 
asked who was growing them besides Diana Chapman.

 >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.

I have been growing this for about 4 years and find that it flowers well 
here in a bulb frame that is covered November through mid-March. It is in 
my usual soil of sand, pumice, and loam and is fertilized with liquid 
fertilizer on the same schedule as other bulbs. Diana mentioned that it 
inhabits seasonally very wet sites, so probably it enjoys the very wet 
winter conditions in this particular frame, which I reserve for plants that 
tolerate more winter moisture and occasional dampness in summer.

If I can be forgiven for transgressing species boundaries here, and in 
reply to Diana's comments on height, I'll just mention there is a 
stupendously large Triteleia peduncularis flowering in the bulb frame now 
-- a self-sown one that has pulled its bulb down deep in the plunge medium. 
It seems that in general, the deeper the bulbs of this group can get, the 
larger the inflorescence; this one, with its long pedicels, is about 14 
inches (35 cm) in diameter on a scape 24 inches (60 cm) tall. Maybe that is 
one reason for the lovely huge Brodiaea elegans Mary Sue is growing in a 
large, deep pot with, as I recall, a lemon tree. Of course, reaching over 
surrounding vegetation has an effect too. I sometimes wonder, also, if some 
of my bulbs grow taller because of the lower light conditions in northern 
Oregon as compared to California and the Mediterranean. On the other hand, 
I seem to have more compact plants than are typical for English growers, 
which may reflect light levels or the fact that my plants are generally 
grown "harder," experiencing lower winter temperatures and probably higher 
temperatures in summer.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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