Some bulbs of western North American Fritillaria

Jane McGary
Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:33:21 PDT
Jim McKenney asked,

>In the image of the bulbs of Fritillaria biflora, you can see lots of small
>ones. Were there attached to the larger bulbs before I dug them? 
>can make out what seems to be one of these small bulbs
>forming at the base of one of the bigger ones.

Yes, they probably were attached; they are extremely loose, probably an 
adaptation that evolved to preserve the plant when it's dug up by predators 
such as gophers and bears. Each scale will make a new plant in short order.
" I'm convinced
>that those from the southern half of the state require, under our
>conditions, to be dry, very dry, by the end of May.  Does that make sense to
>those of you who have grown these successfully?

Yes, but remember that in nature they usually grow deep in rocky clay or 
pure clay soils, often shaded by shrubs, so they don't get hot even when 
dry, and there is a little residual moisture in the soil. So if you're 
keeping them in pots, you should either plunge the pots to the rim or keep 
them in the shade, moistening them very faintly if your atmospheric 
humidity doesn't add some moisture.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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