Maryland update

Roy Herold
Thu, 14 Feb 2008 18:20:12 PST
Regarding Tecophilaea, I was delighted to find mine in bloom today when 
I returned from a week-long trip. I obtained one each of C. t. 
leichtlinii and the regular from Jane McGary this summer, and following 
Rodger's directions planted them in a sandy gritty mix. I gave them no 
water at all until I saw the new shoots emerging, which was probably 
late November. I was concerned that they wouldn't bloom at all this 
year, and then shazaam! Leichtlinii has opened first, and the regular 
one looks like it will follow in a day or two. They are growing in a 
cool greenhouse, typically down to 40F.

One question: are they self fertile, or should I try to cross the two?

NW of Boston
More snow, then rain. The driveway is a skating rink.

Jim McKenney wrote:
> Jane McGary wondered about the conditions here in Maryland which might have
> prompted my Tecophilaea cyanocrocus to bloom early. 
> I think we can confidently rule out summer moisture: my plants get no water
> from the time they die down until sometime in the fall when I begin to water
> them again. 
> It's that "sometime" which is probably the answer. Because of the odd
> weather we experienced last fall, I did not begin to water the bulbs in my
> protected frame until sometime well into November. As a consequence (or so
> it seems to me) everything in that frame is comparatively late this year. 
> Now on to a related topic. Last year I purchased a bulb of what I think of
> as "Lycoris aurea of commerce". I'm not sure what this really is. Many years
> ago I grew it as a pot plant and when it bloomed I decided it was L.
> traubii. The plant I have now has foliage which is distinctly on the yellow
> side of green. The plants grown years ago had very dark green foliage. So
> I'm wondering what I have this time. So far, the foliage has taken the
> winter well and shows no sign of distress. This plant was planted into the
> soil which forms the floor of the cold frame. 
> And here's something else again: while tidying up the garden last week, I
> was struck by the really handsome effect the foliage of Sternbergia lutea
> makes at this time of year. There is a planting of this species in the
> garden here about thirty feet long, and the foliage is very attractive, one
> of the handsomest things in the garden now. 
> Several of the western North American frits now have foliage rosettes up
> above ground. This year I have them in a cold frame out in the garden - this
> frame is not at all protected, and these frits seem later this year than
> they were last year when they grew in the protected cold frame. In fact, at
> this time last year, a half-dozen of the frits growing in the protected
> frame had flower buds above ground. This year things are going much more
> sensibly. 
> Gelasine elongate (received as azurea), Calydorea xiphioides, Watsonia
> humilis, Freesia viridis and - this is a big surprise to me - Zephyranthes
> grandiflora have all kept good foliage all winter so far in the protected
> frame. Talk about microclimate...
> Out in the open garden, a 40+ year old planting of Iris reticulata has
> foliage up. 
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7
> My Virtual Maryland Garden
> Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
> Editor PVC Bulletin 
> Webmaster Potomac Lily Society
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