Blandfordia and Gladiolus dalenii

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 05 Jan 2005 14:09:39 PST

We once talked about bulbs that bloomed during the holidays and Rob 
Hamilton had a really beautiful one this year. I didn't get around to 
making a wiki page for it until today. Can anyone verify which species it 
is? It looks like Blandfordia punicea to me judging from some pictures of 
each species in a December 2002 edition of Australian plants. One of my 
books says it is the most difficult species to grow, but since Rob lives in 
Tasmania perhaps he'd have better luck.…

I think I said I wished Gladiolus dalenii would bloom a bit later so it 
would be in bloom for the holidays and this year I got my wish. However 
they say you should be careful of what you wish for as the Gladiolus that 
bloom for me in our wettest periods (like now) look a bit sad after awhile. 
A number of year ago people admired my Gladiolus dalenii so I dug them up 
to share and the ones left were quite unhappy and never seemed to recover. 
They have gone to corm heaven. I was very sad about this as they had 
bloomed faithfully for a number of years. But one of the friends I gave 
some to dug up some of hers (they had actually been happier in her garden 
since she waters more in summer) and gave me some back so once again this 
year I had some blooming. When I was reading about them in the Gladiolus 
book to add something for the wiki I learned that this species is probably 
in bloom somewhere in Africa year round. That could mean that seed from one 
that had more rain in winter and less in summer would be a better match for 
my climate. I added some pictures of Gladiolus dalenii (the version I grow) 
to the wiki although since I haven't been able to figure out the manual 
focus on the digital camera I had to resort to putting something behind the 
flowers as the automatic focus always focused on the background.…

I've got buds set to open on a number of Gladiolus in the ground, raised 
beds, and pots at the moment and there are forecasts of a pineapple express 
due to hit Southern California from Hawaii and an arctic freeze from Alaska 
coming in from the north expected to bring unusually cold temperatures to 
Washington and Oregon. I'm not sure what that will mean for us (snow, heavy 
rain?). But I doubt my Gladiolus will be happy. I guess it is time to move 
some of the Oxalis to the cold frame. Many of them would be blooming if the 
temperatures were just a tad warmer.

Mary Sue

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

More information about the pbs mailing list