Fri, 23 Jun 2006 13:45:57 PDT
Although the Calochortus season here is over as far as flowers are concerned, there are lots of images to remind me of a very good season.

Sometime last year Mary Sue announced a book, Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses  Gardening with California Monocots.  I obtained a copy, read it with a bit of California-envy and then more or less forgot about it. 

Jane McGary's list last fall offered a nice assortment of Californians, and I tried many of them - including four Calochortus. I also bought bulbs of five of the commercial strains of Calochortus now widely offered. 

Just about everything I planted grew and eventually bloomed, and my camera has been very busy (and so have I with all the sorting, resizing and renaming of the files). 

These flowers are so photogenic: graceful, intricate, colorful, conspicuous - it's hard to put the camera down when they are in bloom. They are already well represented on the wiki, but for those of you who love these blossoms and can't see enough of them, I've posted a Calochortus photo gallery on my web site. These pages are a prototype for the development of future photo galleries on the site. Take a look at:

There are lots of images of the six forms which flowered freely here this year. 

BTW, I'm no Calochortus expert, and when I look at these images, they raise doubts about the identity of some of the commercial material (surprise!). If I've misidentified some of them, please let me know. 

After doing the Calochortus gallery, and sorting lots of other images, I absent mindedly picked up the Wild Lilies book to take with me on a recent trip. As I looked through it, I realized what a difference a year can make. When I received the book last year, I had only a cursory familiarity with such genera as Calochortus, Bloomera, Dichelostemma, Triteleia, Odontostomun and the really comely Californian Fritillaria. Now many of them have bloomed in the garden here and, as I examine the nice fat bulbs most have produced, I look forward to seeing them again in the future. I hope I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch! 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Bloomera crocea (thanks, Jane) and Hymenocallis liriosme (thanks, Joe) are blooming today. 

More information about the pbs mailing list