Blooming this week December 24

Jane McGary
Mon, 24 Dec 2012 13:14:57 PST
Portland, Oregon remains surprisingly frost-free on Christmas Eve, 
though light frost is predicted next weekend. Heavy rains and wind 
have kept the raised beds in the bulb house moist, and leaves are 
sprouting everywhere in it. Newly in flower this morning is Colchicum 
doerfleri, a small species with clear pink flowers that don't open 
widely. COlchicum (Merendera) atticum continues to open new flowers, 
and the beds are dotted with groups of Narcissus cantabricus and a 
few of its hybrids. In the garden Cyclamen coum is the only geophyte 
blooming, with the Urfa strain precocious as usual but other ones in 
bud. The first leaf tips of the winter Galanthus have appeared, and 
Puschkinia libanotica buds appear among the cyclamen. Investigating 
under the lush foliage of Cyclamen graecum, I found many seed 
capsules forming and will distribute the seeds through PBS next summer.

In the seed house a number of species of Crocus, Ornithogalum, 
Cyclamen, Bellevalia, and Biarum have germinated during the past 
month, and today I found three or four species of Tulipa emerging. I 
planted about 35 kinds of tulip seeds purchased from Kurt Vickery, 
many with names I had not previously encountered. I expect they are 
from Russian floras and other publications, so I don't know just how 
many are current in the wider literature, but it will be an 
interesting challenge to raise them to flowering. I've grown 10 or so 
Tulipa species to that stage. Some take only three or four years from 
germination, but others may take as much as six or seven years. I 
hope eventually to have enough to plant out some disease-free stock 
in the open garden.

With best wishes for the New Year,
Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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