Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sun, 01 Jun 2003 17:11:58 PDT
Dear All,

Thanks for all the participation in the topic of the week this week. It 
sounds like a lot of people have trouble getting Dichelostemma ida-maia to 
bloom. It may need a little shade in hot areas and sun in cooler areas. It 
also may just be following Mace's Rule: Mike Mace says the more beautiful 
the flower the harder it is to get it to grow and bloom. I am getting mine 
to bloom now, but they certainly don't all bloom each year and the ones 
that I planted in the shade never bloom and don't always come up either. I 
bet they are there waiting for a forest fire and then I'd see flowers 
heaven forbid.

I have a final question for those of you that grow D. congestum that comes 
out of a private discussion with Kenneth Hixon. Keator calls the flower 
"raceme-like" and Bulbs of North America says it has a raceme which 
distinguishes it from D. multiflorum which has an umbel. When mine start to 
bloom I think they both look like an umbel. Later in the flowering period 
D. congestum looks more raceme-like. I haven't pulled it apart to see if 
all the pedicels start at the same spot, but I suspect that it is an umbel 
too. I find this distinction not nearly as helpful as looking at the 
filament-crown or appendages or whatever you want to call them that 
surround the stamens. One is forked and purple, the other is light purple 
or white and rounded and inrolled. Now that you can easily see even without 
a hand lens. Now I suppose I am in hot water here raising this question 
since I am not a botanist and not always secure in the terms but I am going 
to do it anyway. All of you who have this in bloom give it a look and tell 
me what you think. Do you think the flower is a raceme or an umbel? And if 
it isn't blooming yet tell me later.

Finally someone asked about pollinators. I think it was Ken. I think there 
are a lot of pollinators judging from all the insects I see hanging about 
(hummingbirds for D. ida-maia.) But yesterday there was a beautiful 
butterfly on D. multiflorum. I grabbed my camera, but won't know if I 
captured it. There is a D. multiflorum that has made its way up through a 
Bloomeria crocea that hasn't yet opened in my native raised bed Octagon. 
And there are some Brodiaea jolonensis making friends with some Triteleia 
ixioides as well.

On to Species Lilies tomorrow.

Mary Sue

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