Seeds germinating, second year bulbs (happiness)

Dell Sherk
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 12:43:44 PST

What are “mirabilis crosses”?


Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Fred Biasella
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2016 3:11 PM
To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'
Subject: Re: [pbs] Seeds germinating, second year bulbs (happiness)

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately, I have been bitten by the clivia bug and have about 50 pots of varying sizes and ages and absolutely no more room!!!!! The oldest one (that hasn't flowered) was sown in 2004 and it's growing at a snail's pace. The ones I'm very anxious to see flower are the mirabilis crosses I made about 5 years ago. Like you said, patience is a virtue but let me tell you, having to lug these very large and heavy clivia indoors every fall is taking a toll on my aching back.

Warm Regards,
Fred Biasella
Cambridge (Boston) MA 
USDA Zone 6b
-----Original Message-----
From: pbs [] On Behalf Of Mike Rummerfield
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2016 2:21 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
Subject: Re: [pbs] Seeds germinating, second year bulbs (happiness)

You are a patient man.  Congratulations on the first bloom of your Clivia!
I also raise Clivia from seed (and do some breeding) and always question my sanity as I sow the seed as it usually takes 4 to 6 years to bloom, sometimes less, sometimes more.  At my age I may never see them bloom, but it still provides the pleasure of seeing them germinate; sending up their first stout leaf (checking for basal pigmentation); and the compulsive, but pleasure inducing, monitoring of their progress - leaf shape, color, and arrangement; and then the constant counting of the number of leaves.  (For those not stricken with Clivia Fever, each plant must put on 12 to 14 leaves before there's any hope of first bloom.)  And then after years of the tease ( a little giddy toward possible bloom- This year? oh please, oh
please) it's - OH JOY! OH JOY!

Hazy sun and 43℉ today in the Pacific Northwest, US

On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Fred Biasella <>

> Hi Travis,
> CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Isn't it such a wonderful feeling when you grow 
> something from seed and it flowers? I share your enthusiasm because I 
> have some clivia flowering for the first time (seed sown in 2008) and 
> it does give you a great sense of accomplishment!!!
> Warm Regards,
> Fred
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pbs [] On Behalf Of Travis O
> Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2016 1:02 PM
> To:
> Subject: [pbs] Seeds germinating, second year bulbs (happiness)
> All,
> This is a very exciting time of year for me, because it is the time 
> many of my seed pots start to show signs of growth. Seeing something 
> I've sown germinate for the first time is almost better than the 
> flowers they produce (because it means I didn't kill them!)
> Iris chrysophylla is germinating en masse, although I was told some 
> time ago by an "expert" that germ rates were low. I have near 100% 
> germ! It was surface sown and left outside under an old window to 
> prevent mechanical damage from rain (as happened last year).
> Erythronium oregonum is the first of the fawn lilies to break the seed 
> coat, with hendersonii close behind. The latter is native here, so I 
> should expect good germ there. Both sown as the Iris above.
> Pseudomuscari azureum and Dichelostemma capitatum are both 
> germinating, too.
> Neither is particularly showy unless mass planted, but I like them anyway.
> Seed of both surface sown and left out.
> Narcissus seed collected from my own bulbs are germinating, my attempt 
> to raise a strain that is best adapted to my garden. Second year 
> seedling bulbs are also appearing. Seed was sown 1/2" deep and left 
> out.
> Other second year bulbs are coming up in pots. Chlorogalum from seed 
> collected in the area two years ago are appearing like clockwork, the 
> wild plants that created the seed are likewise breaking the soil surface.
> Also, arguably not a bulb in any way,  a native Delphinium (probably D.
> nuttallianum) is showing up again. It is in it's second year of 
> growth, the first years' appearance was so brief I thought I killed 
> them. The leaves are tiny compared to the mature plants, yet they have 
> the characteristically palmate divided leaves.
> I am growing a variety of questionably hardy seeds under lights on my 
> covered porch. These tend to be species which don't require a cold 
> period and germinated over a month ago. These include Toxicoscordion 
> fremontii, a few Alliums, Arisaema heterophyllum, Crocus goulimyi, and 
> a few others I'm forgetting. Barnardia japonica seed sown last Autumn 
> still shows no signs of growth, so I requested bulbs from the recent 
> BX anyway. Hopefully the seeds will germinate and I'll get a dozen 
> bulbs to play with.
> Question: My Arisaema heterophyllum is dying back now, is this typical?
> Should I let the pot dry out a bit?
> (Completely unrelated to bulbs, but somewhat comparable to 
> germination, our due date for the birth of our second daughter is in 
> the beginning of March, which obviously dwarfs anything to do with 
> anything else anywhere! It's going to be epic, just wanted to share 
> that!)
> Anyone else have seed successes/failures to share?
> Travis Owen
> Rogue River, OR
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