Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Fri, 13 Apr 2007 00:25:46 PDT
As I mentioned the last time we discussed this, Ipheions of all  
types, as well as the related Nothoscordums, behave like rabbits for  
me here in So. Calif. (In fact if I were more diligent at re-potting  
them, I should be sending Dell plenty of offsets every 2-3 years...)  
Lauw, I've never been to the South of France. But everything I've  
seen about its weather and what grows there, especially near the  
Mediterranean like you are, indicates to me that it's probably more  
like central or southern California than it is like where Mary Sue  
lives. She is in a very cool, much wetter USDA Zone 10a as compared  
to my much warmer and dryer Zone 10a. BTW, given all the things you  
grow outside, I'm almost certain that you are not in Zone 8. At  
minimum you are in a Zone 9 climate and most likely Zone 9b.

I grow the plain species, Wisley Blue (which to me is virtually  
indistinguishable from the straight species form), Alba (from Jacques  
Amand long ago), Alberto Castillo, Froyle Mill, Charlotte Bishop,  
Rolf Fiedler, and this year I have some Jessies. (BTW, Jane, Brent &  
Becky's offered them this winter so they've appeared in North America  
already.) I also have a nice lavender-flowered one that appeared as a  
seedling a couple of years ago that I've put into its own pot so it  
can start doing the rabbit thing. I also got o.p. seeds of pink forms  
from the Archibald's a couple of years ago and they started blooming  
this year. I think they are from Charlotte Bishop open pollinated and  
back crossed with each other. There were a variety of different  
shades of pink, some more intense than Charlotte Bishop, and a few  
that were a truer pink than C.B. is. I'm going to re-pot them this  
summer when after they go dormant so I can select and multiply them  
next winter.

I rarely notice the seeds pods because they do an almost peanut like  
thing where a thick stem appears where the flower was and curves  
downward until the pod lays on the soil surface under all the leaves.  
Usually I only notice when one of these downcurving pods happens to  
land in an adjacent pot and the next year volunteers appear at the  
edge of the new pot.

I wonder if Alberto Castillo is a different species (or hybrid?) as  
well because it is much more vigorous than any of my other types  
including the straight species form, and the foliage is much bluer  
than any of the others. It stands out as different, much more so than  
Rolf Fiedler does. The Alba form looks just like most of the  
uniflorum cultivars except that it's white. The leaves are the same  
shade of green as all of them as well.
If you don't like Rolf Fiedler (Why?!), you're not going to like  
Jessie either because it's fairly similar, the color being slightly  
darker and slightly more intense than R.F. (but still not anything  
like Tecophilaea cyanocrocus!).

I suspect that regions with warm summers, whether wet or dry, say  
Zone 8 and higher, will be able to grow most Ipheions almost as weeds.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA, USDA Zone 10a

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