Oxalis in gloom

diana chapman rarebulbs@earthlink.net
Sun, 10 Jul 2005 14:44:52 PDT
This is interesting, since I noticed this last winter distinct differences
with different species as to their ability to open their flowers when the
sun was not shining.  Within the 'tribe' O. obtusa, there are several
large-flowered ones that seem to need less sun.  In our catalogue these are:
O. obtusa tangerine, amber and coral.  We have others that aren't listed.
They open their flowers in the early morning before the sun has reached its
full intensity, and stay open longer too, and also open on dull days.  My
business associate and I wondered last winter if this is a distinct group
different from the others.  The flower structure and bulb seems very similar
to the other obtusa species, although the petals do not overlap in these
species and they are much larger than most others in the group.  We think
they are a different species, but without much to go on in the literature we
still lump them all together.  I have to say that the species we list as O.
comosa falls in this category also.  It came to me from Michael Vassar
labeled as O. comosa, and I have left it with that moniker since I don't
know what else to call it, but, honestly, I don't think it is correct. It
opens on dull days and also stays open late in the day.  O. fragrans is the
one that opens in the evening and stays open late.  I brought a pot into the
house, but the scent was so overwhelming I had to put it outside on the
porch.  O. livida grows and looks much better in some shade, so I think that
would qualify also.  Maybe next winter I will try to note which species are
open on dull days so that I don't have to rely on my inadequate memory.

The early blooming species are O. commutata and O. lobtata (highly
recommended) - both are also strongly scented and bloom as early as August
to September.  Late blooming ones are O. incarnata (can be a pest in the
ground), O. inaequalis and O. bowiei.  There are probably others that I am
not remembering.

Telos Rare Bulbs

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Diane Whitehead" <voltaire@islandnet.com>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2005 1:58 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Oxalis in gloom

>   I've been reading the oxalis descriptions and enjoying the pictures
> on the Telos site.  Diana comments that the winter-flowering ones
> require sun to open.  We don't get much sun in winter, and
> winter-flowering crocus are often a disappointment unless they have
> interesting designs on the outside of their buds.
> One oxalis opens in the evening, and that sounds like it might not
> need sunshine. Are there more? I wonder if "winter-flowering" is too
> broad a category. Are there are some that might open in early winter
> or early spring when we have a better chance of sunshine?
> -- 
> Diane Whitehead  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
> maritime zone 8
> cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
> sandy soil
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