Oporanthous bulbs

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sat, 25 Aug 2007 09:47:42 PDT
John Grimshaw wrote about earlier than usual flowering of Colchicum in 
England. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where the summer has been 
atypically cool and rainy, Colchicum are also flowering somewhat earlier 
than usual, considering a 20-year span of my own observations. However, I'd 
attribute the flowering to the cool temperatures, not to the moisture per 
se, since colchicums are notorious for flowering in the bag while being 
shipped. Acis (formerly Leucojum) also does this.

People who purchase bulbs often wonder what to do about those that have 
flowered during shipment. My preference is to snip the flowers off before 
planting, because they will usually wilt and I think they might become a 
conduit for fungi and bacteria to infect the rest of the plant.

Incidentally, there are a few western American bulbs that flower in late 
summer, such as Calochortus weedii, C. plummerae, and Allium sanbornii. 
They do this even when grown on a "Mediterranean," summer-dry cycle. The 
Allium is quite decorative and I can grow it in the open here; it's about 
30 cm tall in flower, opens greenish white and soon turns bright rose-pink.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

More information about the pbs mailing list