What's Blooming Now--TOW

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Tue, 27 Apr 2004 21:36:31 PDT
Hi All,

It is so interesting reading about so many different things in bloom in 
different areas. I don't even know what some of the plants people listed 
are just as some of you probably won't know the ones I grow either. I hope 
Jim McKenney as he feels better will add pictures of some of the things he 
grows to the wiki so I can see what they look like even if I probably can't 
grow them.

My report is from Coastal Northern California. Like Cindi in Seattle we 
have had an unusually warm spring with long periods without rain. That 
meant that some bulbs did not bloom nearly as long as they usually do 
(early tulips for one thing), but what it means now is that a lot of the 
things that normally bloom in May and June are already in bud or flower so 
I have more blooming right now than I normally would. If temperatures 
remain warm the ones starting now may be fleeting as well. There is color 
everywhere I look, sometimes a lot of different colors.

I still have South African winter growing bulbs in bloom. In the ground my 
Moraeas (Homeria subgroup) are blooming everywhere in shades of yellow, 
gold, apricot, and orange. Moraea bellendenii with its tall yellow flowers 
and a late blooming M. sisyrinchium that I got from Fausto via my friend 
Jana are also in bloom. This clone has darker purple flowers. Moraea 
setifolia and cedarmontana are still blooming. Some other one is spiking in 
one of my raised beds, possibly M. lurida which is one of the later ones. 
Most of my species Babianas are finished, but in the ground are huge swaths 
of color from the hybrids. They are very happy this year and have put on 
quite a show. The hybrid Ixias in the ground are blooming too. I wish they 
didn't fall over, but they are quite striking, white, yellow, magenta with 
a darker center. The orange Ixia dubia (syn. I. frederickii) opened today 
and I saw color on an Ixia viridiflora and  some of the other late blooming 
species will be opening soon and that Ixia monadelpha I wrote about earlier 
is still blooming. Obviously it is better in a warmer dryer time. Ferraria 
crispa norterii has been in bloom a long time.

Tritonias are also in bloom in various shades of orange: T. deusta, T. 
securigera, T. crocata, and some labeled mixed colors from Kirstenbosch 
seed. Since I started growing T. securigera under shelter with my 
Lachenalias it looks a lot better and is really a lovely long blooming 
flower. Julian Slade identified the plant from Silverhill seed that didn't 
seem to fit Ixia pumillo as T. dubia and that seems to check out. It is 
long gone, but I changed it on the wiki and have recently added some 
pictures of some of the Tritonias that are blooming now (the mixed colored 
ones and a new T. crocata that I got labeled as T. squalida which is orange 
so must be T. crocata instead. I also added two pictures Bob took in South 
Africa of T. karooica grown by Jim Holmes and Henry Pauw that I wish I 
grew. Check it out Jennifer as it is an amazing orange yellow combination.

I have some low growing Watsonias in bloom and some others almost in bloom. 
W. coccinea which may be my favorite is looking really nice this year. This 
is my first year to have W. laccata in bloom from seed and W. alectroides 
always blooms a very long time for me where it is planted in one of my 
raised beds. There is also a tall purple hybrid in bloom.

The late blooming Lachenalias have been nice, but not lasting quite as long 
as usual with the warmer temperatures. Blooming right now are L. comptonii, 
L. contaminata, L. orthropetala, L. liliflora, L. unicolor, L. zeyheri, L. 
purpureocaerulea, L. nervosa and L. violacea var. glauca. I've not had much 
luck with the latter species before. It smells just like coconut. Also just 
starting is L. campanulata, the evergreen one that I grew from seed from 
Rhoda and Cameron.

Cyrtanthus  brachyscaphus just recently started blooming after I thought 
perhaps it needed to be divided since usually it blooms much sooner, but I 
have a lot of nice orange flowers in two pots. My Ledebouria cooperii is 
just starting to bloom. I need to check this one to see if that is still 
what it is called. There only is one bloom this year, but I didn't repot 
it. Still I like the leaves.

My Geissorhizas have been in bloom a long time, but are finishing now. G. 
radians and monanthos with their amazingly intricate blooms still have a 
few flowers and a new unknow sp. from Silverhill seed just started to 
bloom. G. bracteata (white with red behind) is always one of the last ones 
to flower. My Ornithogalum dubium is still looking quite nice and any day 
now I'll have the first bloom on O. conicum. Gladiolus carneus is blooming 
and some hybrid dark red one growing in the ground. There are spikes on 
many of the late blooming ones, but they will probably bloom while I'm 
gone. Aristea ecklonii is now blooming, but what is extremely exciting 
given my poor luck with Aristeas no matter how many I keep trying from seed 
is that there is a spike on A. bakeri (syn. A. confusa). I ended up with 
two plants from that batch of seed and planted them out. One is going to 
bloom. I so hope it blooms before I leave, but am not sure it will. There 
is also a Tulbaghia in bloom (cominsii x violacea from Dave Fenwick seed.) 
And there is one Oxalis obtusa still blooming.

I also have a few South American bulbs in bloom. Gelasine uruguaiensis ssp 
orientalis has started blooming this week. It looks like if I dead head it 
I may get more blooms than last year. It closes early afternoon so the 
flowers are really fleeting. I have two species of Phaedranassa in bloom. 
The Pasithea still has a few flowers, but is nearing the end of its bloom. 
Leucocoryne vittae is smashing at the moment. I don't seem to have as good 
luck getting L. purpurea to bloom every year, but have a couple of flowers 
open. A patch of Alstroemeria which is very happy in the ground and slowly 
spreading is open as well too. I have a couple of Herbertias blooming. I've 
had many from seed labeled different things. I think they might both be H. 

Australian plants in bloom are Orthrosanthus multiflorus and Arthropodium 
strictum. There must be 40 or 50 buds on my Thysanotus patersonii (a Telos 
purchase) which is climbing on a wire fence. Usually it gives out before it 
blooms, but just maybe this year I'll see those purple flowers. Or maybe 
they will shrivel in the heat.

My California native plants that generally bloom this time of the year have 
been joined by some that bloom later. I have Sisyrinchium bellum and S. 
californicum in bloom. The latter is interesting since I haven't seen it 
for years, as generally it likes wet places (not likely in my garden in 
summer), but there must have been some seed around that germinated this 
year. Iris douglasiana and I. innominata (a lovely yellow one) are blooming 
along with a few of my Pacific Coast hybrids. Dichelostemma capitatum, 
ida-maia, and multiflorum are in bloom and Triteleia laxa, hyacinthina, 
ixioides, hendersonii, bridgesii and the last of the T. lilacina. Even T. 
ixioides ssp. anilina shows color. It is a mountain species and always the 
last to come up and to bloom. Like Jane I grow quite a lot of different 
forms of T. laxa so have them in various stages.

Brodiaea jolonensis has just started and there are good sized buds on B. 
californica which is usually summer flowering. Odontostomun hartwegii which 
most people aren't too excited about is blooming too. Allium crispum, A. 
uniflorum, and A. peninsulare are blooming and A. haematochiton is still 
blooming. It blooms for months and months. A lot of other native Alliums 
will bloom soon. I still have some of the earlier Calochortus in bloom (C. 
uniflorus, albus, amoenus, monophyllus, tolmieii), but much earlier than 
usual I have Mariposas blooming: C. venustus and catalinae, and  also C. 
splendens. And C. amabilis opened today. I added some new pictures to the 
wiki of Calochortus venustus and C. amoenus.

Growing in the shade of a Coast Redwood, my Clintonia andrewsiana has a lot 
of blooms this year and Lilium martimum is really far along for this time 
of the year, but not quite open. My Zigadenus fremontii is starting to 
bloom too.

The warm weather is slowing down my Delphiniums, but I've really enjoyed 
them as usual this year. I have been working on my Delphinium wiki page and 
have a couple still to add, but most of the ones I grow are now pictured. 
This year was the first year for D. decorum which is really gorgeous with 
shiny leaves and blue flowers with purple tints. It is very short without 
as many flowers as D. hesperium which is such a great plant. Also blooming 
right now is D. parryi that Harold Koopowitz gave me seed of. It has a tall 
spike with a lot of flowers on it and is also a really pretty color. I am 
realizing how much they hybridize as I have some very strange looking ones 
now. I now have the different species located in different parts of my 
garden. I worry what some of you might get from the BX seed I donated in 
the past. I've photographed a dark red D. nudicaule I grew from seed of one 
I discovered in a local orange red wild population. I didn't see any other 
species in bloom in that area so am not sure how it got that color, but 
some of them were the same color from that seed. There is one that is 
orange and yellow that is probably a cross between luteum and nudicaule.

I still have Cyclamen in bloom and a few Muscaris and my first bulbous 
Corydalis (solida alba) from seed. My Bletilla is in bloom too and that 
Oxalis that reseeds a lot (O. carnosa).

In my garden there are lots of shrubs, annuals, and perennials in bloom 
too, but I'll save listing all of them as this post is already much too long.

Mary Sue

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

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