Two onion notes
Sun, 07 Jun 2009 18:08:41 PDT
On 4 Jun 2009, at 17:22, Jim McKenney wrote:

> ...Allium caeruleum seems to require a dry summer under our conditions. It’s
> one of the least expensive flowering onions, and one of the most ornamental,
> yet I’ve never seen broad masses of it naturalized in local garden. 

ITYM "it become an exceptionally pestiferous weed."

I keep trying to find a silver lining to a cloud labelled "Victoria has a good 
climate for summer-dry bulbs" but the fact is that some bulbs enjoy our 
conditions far too much. I'll single out three as particularly obnoxious:

1. Camassia, any species as far as I can tell. They set seed like it's going 
out of style, and every see that drops germinates to become a flowering bulb in 
five years or so.

2. Allium, any species, and allium cousins, aunts, and uncles. If they aren't 
seeding about, they're busying forming bulbils and bulblets above and below 
ground, and inserting themselves in place difficult to dig them out of. 
Fortunatly, they don't burrow as deep as camas do. Particularly obnoxious have 
been the allium cousin Nothoscordum inodorum, which I've been sedulously 
removing for a good ten years, and the commercial form of Allium roseum, which 
has the vice of setting bulbils instead of flowers above ground, and bulblets 
galore below ground. I have a suspicion that the plant sends out runners that 
form bulblets at the end, just to make eradication even more difficult. I'm not 
free of it yet and reading the entrails, suspect I never will be. Eternal 
vigilance is the price of liberty, if by the latter we mean freedom from Allium 

3. Tulipa sprengeri. It's saving grace is that I like it, but it's gradually 
colonizing throughout my garden.

PS: Arum dioscorides is flowering: as I sit here typing, I get wafts of its 
digusting smell off and on.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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