Initiation of root growth in Fritillaria affinis; was Re: Pacific Bulb Society BX 330

Jim McKenney
Sat, 01 Dec 2012 14:53:12 PST
In the notes to his donations, Bob Werra wrote  "It's not too late to plant winterrainfall species."

This comment prompts me to ask about something which has long puzzled me. 

For the last five years or so I've been doing something which has helped me learn a lot about bulbs new to me and therefore of somewhat uncertain culture. The really puzzling ones have mostly been Californians, in particular the West Coast Fritillaria. Here's what I do: when the bulbs arrive from the suppliers, I pack one or two in zip lock plastic bags with a piece of barely moist paper towel and then put the whole thing into the refrigerator.

I take them out now and then as time allows and check for signs of life. The primary goal is to see when the bulbs start to produce roots or show other signs of renewed activity. The majority of summer dormant bulbs show signs of life within a week or two. I was pleased this year to see that home grown bulbs of the hybrid Erythronium 'Pagoda' were producing heavy root growth after about two weeks in the refrigerator. 

Fritillaria affinis, given the same treatment, shows no sign of growth - nor does it show any signs of distress. Fritillaria pudica, on the other hand, shows both extensive root growth and sprout growth. 

So here's the question: does anyone know when this species (Fritillaria affinis) normally begins root growth? When I've tried this experiment in the past with another species, F. recurva, I lost my nerve at the end of the year and moved the still unrooted bulb to a pot and a cold frame. That was the end of the easy observations, although the bulb eventually sprouted and bloomed the following year. 

Are there any West Coast bulbs known to delay root growth until late winter and the resumption of leafy growth? 

Jim McKenney


 From: Dell Sherk <>
To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' <> 
Sent: Saturday, December 1, 2012 1:36 PM
Subject: [pbs] Pacific Bulb Society BX 330
Dear All,

       The items listed below have been donated by our members and friends
to be shared.

  If you are interested in obtaining some of them, please email me PRIVATELY
at <>. Include "BX 330" in the subject line. 

        Specify the NUMBERS of the items which you would like; do not
specify quantities. It is a good idea to include your snail mail address,
too, in case I don't already have it. Availability is based on a first come,
first served system. When you receive your seeds/bulbs you will find,
included with them, a statement of how much money (usually $2.00/share of
seeds or $3 -$5/share of bulbs)(cash, check, or Pay Pal to
<>; no money orders, please) you should send the PBS
treasurer. Postage and packaging charges are added.

     Many of you are subscribers to this pbs elist which is free, but are
not members of the Pacific Bulb Society which has a yearly membership
Society. If you are not a member, consider joining so that you can take
advantage of future offers such as this. Go to our website:

         If you would like to donate seeds or bulbs/corms to the PBS,(Donors
will receive credit on the BX for the cost of postage for their donations.),
please send CLEAN, clearly labeled plant materials to:

Dell Sherk
6832 Phillips Mill Rd.
New Hope, PA, 18938

Non US donors should contact Dell for instructions before sending seeds.

            I WILL

From Bob Werra: (SEEDS)   Bob says, "It's not too late to plant winter
rainfall species."

1. Calochortus amabilis
2. Dichelostemma ida-maia
3. Fritillaria affinis, ex Ukiah, CA
4. Fritillaria liliaceae
5. Gladiolus huttonii
6. Gladiolus priori
7. Moraea ciliata (CORMLETS)
8. Moraea ciliate
9. Moraea elegans
10. Moraea graminicola, ex Eastern Cape, RSA
11. Moraea pendula
12. Moraea polyanthus
13. Moraea polystachya
14. Moraea vegeta
15. Moraea vespertina
16. Moraea villosa
17. Rhodophiala, pink
18. Rhodophiala, dark maroon
19. Sandersonia aurantiaca

From Roland de Boer: (SEEDS)

20. Crotolaria capensis
21. Cyclamen hederifolium, mixed pink forms
22. Galtonia viridiflora, tall form
23. Kochia scoparia
24. Leucocoryne purpurea
25. Malcomia
26. Massonia echinata
27. Massonia pustulata
28. Paradisia lusitanicum

From Dee Foster: (SEEDS)

29. Eucomis comosa, green/white
30. Eucomis comosa, mixed colors, mostly pink
31. Eucomis cv, dwarf purple flower, green foliage
32. Gloriosa superba (rotschildiana)
33. Veltheimia bracteata, pink
34. Mirabilis jalapa, "Four O'clocks", magenta

From Mary Sue Ittner: (all OP)

35. Seed of Amaryllis belladonna, winter growing
36. Seed of Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus, evergreen
37. Bulblets of Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus, evergreen
38. Seed of Eucomis bicolor, summer growing 
39. Seed of Nerine bowdenii - confused about when it should grow
40. Seed of Nerine sarninesis hybrid (had red flowers) - winter growing
41. Seed of Nerine sarniensis hybrid (seed from rescue bulb)- winter growing
42. Seeds of Polianthes geminiflora - summer growing

Thank you, Bob, Roland, Dee,
 and Mary Sue !!

Best wishes,

Dell Sherk, PBS BX

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