early Spring bulbs, California

Joe Shaw jshaw@opuntiads.com
Sun, 10 Jun 2007 10:43:53 PDT
Hi Gang,

I always think of Dodecatheon as an early California wildflower and bulb, 
even though it does not make a bulb.

Dodecatheon is in the primrose family.  Plants in the genus make an 
underground storage organ that could be typical of many dicots: a short 
underground caudex or crown with storage roots attached.  Maybe the roots 
have buds sometimes.  Overall, the roots are (apparently) anatomically 
similar to dahlia, peony, or carrot roots.  The underground part of a 
Dodecatheon plant is nothing at all like an onion bulb; there is no tunic 
and no basal plate.

LINK:  Image: Hibiscus moscheutos storage roots and crown (similar to 

I guess, early on, as a wannabe plant nut, I thought Dodecatheon was a 
bulb-type plant and the thought has persisted.  Dodecatheon has features 
that suggest the most exiciting aspects of horticultural bulbness.  The 
flowers are exquisately beautiful and exotic, and not easily described. 
The colors can be rich and intense, and intricately arranged.  Maybe 
Dodecatheon can be an honorary genus of bulbs, not as intelligent as tulips 
but every bit as beautiful.

LINK:  The Genus Dodecatheon, info


Conroe TX
The weather is warm now.  Roses continue blooming but have passed their big 
push.  Some tropical plants are entering their exponential growth phases. 

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