When plants bloom

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Fri, 08 Jun 2007 09:21:53 PDT
I don't know about California bulbs flowering early (many of those 
mentioned as being early are not bulbs or corms in the strict sense, but 
rhizomatous or tuberous), but there is a range of very early flowering ones 
in the Columbia Gorge between the states of Washington and Oregon: 
Fritillaria pudica, Erythronium grandiflorum, Camassia quamash, and 
Olsynium douglasii, for example. These can be snowmelt plants at higher 
elevations, but where they don't experience winter snow cover for very 
long, they flower in early March.

California Fritillaria species that bloom early are F. striata and F. 
liliacea; the former has a southern distribution, and the latter is 
strictly coastal and never experiences snow cover. Fritillaria affinis, 
which has a very long north-south range from Vancouver Island down to south 
central California, also varies in when it blooms. Representatives from 
different populations that I grow here spread their flowering over about 3 
months, reflecting the flowering time in their native habitat, which is 
interesting considering that they're being grown in the same conditions. 
The earliest is from a California population, and the latest from Mt. Hood, 
quite near where I live.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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