Scilla natalensis

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 27 Mar 2003 21:07:16 PST
Dear All,

I find this subject absolutely fascinating.

Now we have learned that Scilla natalensis blooms in late winter for Doug 
in Southern California, early spring for Jana in Northern California and in 
the wild in Natal, summer in British Columbia, Canada, and New Zealand, 
fall in Switzerland and I don't think Paul said when in Australia.

They need to be grown frost free except obviously not since they survive in 
Zone 7 outside.  Rob once wrote that he lost most or all of his Cyclamen in 
a really cold year so these are obviously hardier. They need to be planted 
with 2/3 exposed except that they are fine with not being exposed at all in 
Australia. And Greg tells us they have to have some cold to bloom, but Doug 
is Zone 10 or not less than Zone 9 at least so not a lot of cold.

They need a dry winter or they will rot, but are fine where they get year 
round water in British Columbia, Berkeley, and New Zealand even though in 
some of those places there is more rainfall in winter. In British Columbia 
they don't even lose their leaves until March whereas in their natural 
habitat they lose their leaves when the rain stops and the weather gets 
cold. They need to be well watered when in growth in summer but Paul says 
they get a dry baking in Australia and still bloom every year for his friend.

So what is the problem with Lauw's bulbs? You'd think they would have 
gotten used to a different hemisphere by now. Could they just not be big 

I saw them in bloom in Berkeley too a number of years ago, but Berkeley 
gets half the rainfall I do in winter and Rob in British Columbia is much 
lower too. So if I'm going to do a sacrifice for science I'd rather 
sacrifice John's small bulbs than mine I have patiently grown from Bill's 
seed.  So send on a few for me to try. And John yours aren't going to grow 
very big very fast in 2 inch pots. Bill told us in December that Jim 
Forrest's bulbs got moved because they needed more space and they were the 
size of big crinum bulbs and with a very extensive root system.

Thanks all for all the great responses. Hopefully Paul, Ken, Lauw, and I 
will all one day have blooming plants regardless of what we do.

Mary Sue

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