Few Lycoris in Europe ?

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:41:30 PST

	I am often confounded that Lycoris are not more wide spread everywhere they can grow. In this part of the US. L. squamigera is a common garden plant evn in suburban tracts where very few other flowering shrubs, perennials or bulbs are grown. They are just so easy and trouble free.

	I can only guess why they are not more common in Europe particularly the variety of species that are available.

	1.	I suspect (strongly) that the Dutch Bulb industry is just not ‘tuned' into the special growing schedule of Lycoiris. Bulbs mature and are dormant in mid summer- June/July/August and should be dug  and shipped in mid -summer.  Bulbs also should not dry out and shouild not be baked. Freshly dug bulbs should not be stored dry, but planted in mid-summer. Essentially they do not fit the pattern for handlling tulips and daffodils. 

	2. The genus has 2 distinct groups: Those with foliage that appears in fall and stays emergent all winter. In general these are not nearly as hardy as others in the genus. I cannot or barely grow any.  L. radiata does survive in my Zone 5.6 garden, but does not bloom every year. INn milder clmates the can become serious weeds. L. aurea (it is often misidentified and named) is among the most tender species and only suited to mildest gardens.
		The other groups has foliage that appears in spring and thus no winter damage and are mostly very hardy. These are the ones I grow.

	3.  All the hardiest species are Chinese and they have just not been available in large quantities from Chinese sources. I have over the years imported and sold hundreds of bulbs with mostly success. Most growers sell individual bulbs at high prices rather than groups of 3 or 5 or 10 each.

	4. 	They simply do not grow in all parts of the world.  In the UK, in general, they do not do well. UK gardeners are among the more influential garden writers and they do not extoll the wonders of Lycoris. 

	5. Here in my specific continental climate with cold winters ( 0F and lower)  and hot summers  (100 F and higher), they thrive and put on wonderful displays in August and Sept when nothing can match them in the garden.  The bulbs mutlliply well and some set fertile seed that self sow around the garden. Natural hybrids are bee produced and equally fertile.

	I do encourage you seek these ot and try them. They can be slow to establish if mishandled (dried out), but they are very rewarding. I suggest you try L. squamigera in your garden as this is easy and most available.  If you are in a mild climate I suggest L. radiata which is usualyy the lowest price of any Lyciris and quite showy. 		Best wishes and good luck.

				Jim w. 


On Feb 22, 2017, at 11:21 PM, Garak <garak@code-garak.de> wrote:

Dear Jim,

thanks again for that excellent and mouth-watering article. According to your description, there are several Lycoris for continental zone 5-7 climate and semi shade fall flowering - that (rare) combination should make them an essential garden species in most of middle Europe - yet they are virtually unheard of and hard to obtain - Lauw de Jager offers 3 Species (L. aurea, radiata and squamigera) in small quantities, but that's about it with European sources, and on Ebay there's either american sources or those from the home country of very untalented photoshop artists - so what is it that keeps Lycoris from the European breakthrough they seem to deserve?

Southern Germany

Am 22.02.2017 um 15:08 schrieb James Waddick:
> 	The article I had in mind is the first on your list		http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/…

Dr. James Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd
Kansas City, MO 64152-2711
Phone     816-746-1949

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