Bulbs, for a change

Max Withers maxwithers@gmail.com
Tue, 20 Nov 2007 09:53:29 PST
No frost in the bay area either, of course. We just had our "second storm" about a week ago and many of my winter growing geophytes have responded by sending up their first leaves. I don't grow Oxalis intentionally, but O. pes-caprae has gone from dormant to flowering in about a week. 

Interestingly, the Cape bulbs seem to start earlier than the California natives. This year Haemanthus coccineus (young, with pubescent leaf margins)and Bulbinella latifolia initiated leaf growth before any rainfall at all. Chasmanthe floribunda does this too; I don't grow this, but established clumps are common landscape plants here, and they're about 3-4 feet tall now, depending on exposure.

Of the many spp. I started from seed last year, Calochortus catalinae is the first to reappear.

I planted several crocus this year from Russell, but they have finished flowering (unless there's something I forgot... one can always hope). I wish to register my appreciation of C. cartwrightianus, which is later, smaller, paler, and considerably more beautiful than its descendants.

The only "bulb" actually flowering now is a Kniphofia I'm pretty sure I bought as 'Christmas Cheer', but which seems both later and orange-r than other plants called that. 

Oakland CA

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