Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:37:17 PDT
Jim Waddick asked about Ornithogalum ponticum.

This plant, which I think most who grow it have in the selection 'Sochi', 
closely resembles O. narbonense (a very easy, commercially available 
species), but is less easy to establish. My best success with it is in 
rather retentive soil, on the flat, where it gets some summer water; its 
companions include herbaceous peonies and a hardy yellow Kniphofia hybrid 
selected here. O. pyrenaicum also grows well in this spot.
I always try anything named 'ponticum' (from the Black Sea coast of Turkey) 
because our climate here is very similar to that region. Another Pontic 
plant that loves western Oregon is Iris lazica.

I've seen O. umbellatum behaving aggressively in fields in the Pacific 
Northwest, but here I planted it in rough grass in a rather shady area 
where it gets no summer water, and it has never offered to spread, perhaps 
because it gets mown before ripening its seed (the mowing of the area is 
controlled by the growth cycle of some daffodils that also grow in the grass).

There are several very short-growing ornithogalums (I think in England they 
sometimes call them "thogs," which strikes me as an ugly word) that can be 
very attractive in flower, but they all seem to increase very fast 
vegetatively so probably should not be placed in the small rock garden.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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