Allium TOW

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 09 Mar 2003 20:48:55 PST
Dear Mark,

Before I introduce the next topic tomorrow I'd like to thank you for your 
amazing effort on Allium both on the list and on the wiki. I suspect there 
may be people catching up on everything throughout the following week and 
more discussion to come. It is going to be hard for anyone to match your 
output for any other genus in terms of helpful information and photos you 
have added to the wiki.

Over the years I have tried a lot of Allium from seed and partly this has 
been because of all those articles you have written in NARGS bulletins with 
your extraordinary enthusiasm. There has always been a lot of seed 
available of Alliums through NARGS and for a number of years (not the last 
two I am happy to say if Tom S. is reading this) if I didn't get my first 
choice I got a lot of Allium seed because they started with A and went down 
the list of my alternate choices. My success rate with this seed has been 
really poor. Except for the California species that I mentioned in an 
earlier post and a few others that I expect to bloom soon, with about 22 
different things I have tried, perhaps I've gotten three to blooming 
stages. Some germinated and I lost them later, but a lot never came up. 
Many of the ones I have tried have been praised this past week.

For some I expected I started them at the wrong time so now I can look at 
what the seeds look like for a clue. From an earlier comment I am assuming 
that some of them needed colder winters. But the other question I always 
had for the ones that did come up was what were their requirements for 
summer water. Perhaps I didn't give them enough water. I experimented with 
planting extra chives and garlic chives in my "dry" summer garden and they 
disappeared. I still have some in containers that I water regularly 
however. I could never have the glorious display of blooms in summer you 
showed us on the wiki.

I'm not complaining because there is a wide array of material from 
Mediterranean climates that are quite happy in my situation and I love 
living in an area where I can hike year round (albeit in rain gear some 
days in winter). Besides the California onions that don't need cold 
temperatures to thrive are there other species you would recommend for 
those of us who have mild winter temperatures and dry summers that wouldn't 
escape into the wild areas like Allium triquetrum.

On another forum I saved from Lauw his words: "A. christophii, 
schubertii,  stipitatum , amethystinum, sphaerocephalon do very well here 
in our Medit. climat.  Many Allium hybrids
and Allium giganteum have  been abandoned; as they all  degenerate  rapidly 
by virus infection  due to our mild climate.  Allium cowannii, triquetrum 
(of course), subhirsitum , zebdanense   are all good 'stayers' here."

Of these:
Allium cristophii-started in spring, came up the following winter. Years 
later I still only have two very tiny bulbs
Allium schubertii-started in November, germinated in January, failed to 
thrive as well
Allium subhirsutum-never germinated
>Allium zebdanense-started in October, germinated in March, did not survive
>Allium amethystinum-I have some healthy looking seedlings now from a fall 
>sowing. What do I need to do to keep them going?

Can you comment on Lauw's statement about Alliums degenerating rapidly to 
virus in mild temperatures. I am assuming the Allium that Alberto talked 
about was virused when he got it.

>I bought some Allium acuminatum from Jane and I have two seedling pots 
>returning too so am hopeful that this will be another Allium from 
>California that I can keep going.
>Now that you have whetted our appetites are you going to donate some seed 
>of some of these you told us about to the BX next year?
>Mary Sue

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