Sat, 23 Feb 2013 06:50:52 PST
I have quite literally concluded the text on the Notholirion section of the new Lily Monograph in the past couple of days. 

If it is of any help there are 6 taxa in the genus Notholirion, 5 of which are grown here, the 6th, Noth.koeiei (try put that one through your spell checker) is very rare in nature and found mostly along the Iranian - Iraq border mountain range which is not a recommended region to go botanising as 4 young American trekkers found to their cost a couple of years ago having inadvertently strayed across into the unmarked frontier with Iran and jailed as suspected spies. There is thought to possibly be a localised isolated population in the most remote south easterly part of Turkey as well. 

All of those 5 taxa grown here from seed have shown themselves as requiring cold treatment prior to germination, even then it can be erratic with our pots producing seedlings sometimes after the first and second germinations. I appreciate not everybody has the same opportunity but the seed pots here are placed outside with a dollop of snow dumped on them occassionally and left to freeze - thaw as the Autumn - Winter - Spring grinds on. Last night's - 17 C should jolly them along and get a decent result, hopefully. Don't dump the pots, I did once and ended up with young plants where they were not intended. The seed compost?, if that's the correct word is a mixture. 50:50 of very course granite river sand from the river Spey and local soil. Ph 4.5 to 5.0. Notholirion isn't too keen on limestone derived soils at any time.

All Notholirion are profoundly capable of producing bulb offsets, these invariably can be produced annually and it is very easy, if lifting dormant plants, to miss the tiniest most recent bulbils but they will make themselves known soon enough. We had an unmitigated disaster, seed production wise in 2012 across the board due to wet, cold and limited insect activity. However, if things are better this year and anyone on PBS would like to try the Notholirion challenge get in touch and I will try to help if I can.

I hope you all get a good season and no nasty weather surprises. I have been amazed to read all about those whose bulbs are flowering already, our Acis and kindred plus a few of the alpine Narcissi taxa are only just breaking through above the soil but the ground has been rock hard here for months now and a weird absence of our usual snow cover probably doesn't help.

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