Tigridia pavonia

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 22:02:11 PDT
When I lived in Stockton, California I grew Tigridia pavonia in raised 
beds with perennial flowers. It came back year after year and produced a 
succession of flowers. I haven't had a lot of luck growing it 
successfully in coastal Northern California where we get much more rain 
in winter and summer temperatures are cooler, especially at night. 
Purchased bulbs I put in the ground didn't reappear so I tried growing 
some from seed and keeping them in pots. I had some success with that, 
but very few flowers and nothing in subsequent years. Still, when I saw 
the photos of Ellen's 'Sunset in Oz' I was smitten and so when I saw if 
offered in the NARGS seed exchange I decided it would be worth it if I 
got to see a couple of flowers. And I was curious what they would look 
like. I had discovered from my other experiences growing this species 
from seed that it was possible to get it to bloom the first year if you 
transplanted it up to a deeper pot after it came up and fertilized it. I 
sowed seed on February 22 and seedlings started emerging on April 15. 
The first flowers appeared in September. Five bulbs bloomed that month. 
Luckily I was home as the flowers only last for part of a day. Two of 
them resembled the cultivar and the other three did not. The following 
month a second flower was produced on two of the plants. And that was 
it. Seven flowers lasting less than a day.

I moved the pot into my greenhouse so it could be dry over the winter 
and didn't repot. The second year there were lots of leaves and only one 
flower one day. But it was a beautiful red and it happened on my 
husband's birthday so that was special.

I moved the pot in the greenhouse again when it went dormant and 
recently I unpotted and discovered there were lots of bulbs of different 
sizes which really surprised me. I probably should give it up as I 
obviously don't have the right climate to grow these, but I'm giving 
them one more chance and planted a few of them out and a few in a pot 
and am sending the rest to Dell for the BX. If they can flower from seed 
in months, it would seem there would be a chance for smaller bulbs to 
flower this year. I added photos of my 8 flowers to the wiki.


After years of drought we've had a lot of rain and some things are 
flowering that I haven't seen for years so that is very exciting.

Mary Sue

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