Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Fri, 30 May 2003 08:53:22 PDT
Dear All,

Thanks everyone for your participation. It has been great. I would like to 

Thanks to Diana for her comments about the multiplication of the corms. I 
have a whole raised bed full of Dichelostemma capitatum (12 years old and 
never replanted). I always get blooms, but not nearly the number you would 
expect with all the ones that are no doubt there. I too remember there were 
more corms in the test plot where corms were lifted every year at the end 
of the experiment, but I was afraid to trust my memory. So it sounds like 
if we want more blooms and corms you have to divide them frequently. 
Considering how many they make we may have to start eating them! I can 
probably provide lots of tiny ones to the BX for those people wanting to 

As for the shade from weeds preventing blooms I have another story to tell. 
In Southern California there is a place celebrated for its wild flower 
displays. For years they struggled with weeds and how to get rid of them. 
Finally one year they watered really well to get the weed seed to germinate 
and then covered the area with black plastic to kill the emerging plants. 
When they removed the cover so they could plant seed of what they wanted, 
they found a whole field of Dichelostemma coming up. It was there, but they 
didn't know it. So some of you may not have lost your corms. Fire works in 
the same way for our natives and those in other Mediterranean climates. It 
clears out the competition for one thing.

I am surprised that more people are not growing D. multiflorum since it too 
should be hardy. It was Jim Robinett's favorite I remember him telling me. 
For me it is one of the more reliable bloomers, but of course it could be 
it just likes my climate. I don't think it offsets quite as much which in 
my mind is an advantage since I am not in business to sell them. Perhaps as 
Diana says the ones for sale in quantities are the ones that offset the most.

Dichelostemma pulchellum is on old name that has been replaced by D. 
capitatum. Those of us who have cherished old books will find all kinds of 
old names. I've never known anyone growing the subspecies from the desert 
so it was nice to read that Shawn grows it. (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. 
pauciflorum) Certainly he has been living in the correct places for it. 
What were the flowers like Shawn compared to D. c. ssp. c. and did you like 
it? It would be great to have a picture of it for the wiki so we could 
compare it with the other subspecies. And no, I'm not going to want it as I 
am sure I live in too wet a place for its liking.

Ookow is the common name for D. congestum and occasionally D. multiflorum. 
I guess we will need to keep searching for what it means and how to 
pronounce it (although all of us who have followed our discussion on the 
topic of pronunciation know it doesn't matter!). I always am amused when a 
common name can be more challenging that the botanical name as most of my 
hiking buddies insist that common names are the most they can handle. I 
don't think any of them remembers Ookow. D. capitatum is commonly known as 
Blue Dicks and everyone remembers that. Which one do you think you have in 
your field Kenneth? You should be able to tell from my attempts to clarify 
how to tell them apart. All three can be found in Oregon.

I have looked at catalogs of Pink Diamond and know that if I didn't grow 
any of the others I'd think it was really beautiful. It is beautiful, but 
it looks the wrong color to me  since I so love D. ida-maia so I have 
resisted trying it and nothing like it has appeared in my garden. So 
someone else will have to report on how good a long term plant it is and 
whether it sets seed and what the seedlings are like. I know Jane is going 
to give it a try.

Finally I'd like to comment on what Jamie said about growing from seed. 
With the Brodiaeas and Triteleias I have become enchanted with the 
differences in the plants grown from different wild collected seed. I had a 
Triteleia first bloom for me in January and have had one or the other 
blooming since with the ones in the ground really nice right now. Triteleia 
ixioides ssp. scabra that was called 'Tiger' by Jim Robinett and Diana 
thinks should be a subspecies of its own is the early blooming one that 
started in January. There are pictures on the wiki of it and I 
have  collected seed of it which I will be sending to the BX.  It is a 
marvelous plant. And while you are looking be sure and look at the picture 
Bob took of Triteleia lilacina. When Triteleia was the topic of the week I 
gave it a vote of confidence because of its shiny center and blue anthers. 
Mine have never offset at all. They are available from Telos however. I 
have a couple of Triteleia laxas blooming from seed for the first time this 
year which are really different from others I grow. I will be adding more 
pictures of these different forms of T. laxa and more pictures of T. 
bridgesii which has been looking very beautiful lately when I find the time.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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