Blooming mid February

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:15:28 PST
In coastal Northern California we too are having an unusually dry winter 
with about a third of our usual rainfall to this point, with almost none 
in December and February, our usual wettest months. So with warm sunny 
days we rarely have in February so many things are blooming earlier than 
usual in my garden. It gives me a sense of what it must be like to 
garden in Southern California (if you have a source of water). And my 
reporting of what is in flower is different than some of the other 
California reports. (my combination Mediterranean-Pacific Northwest 
garden). And as Mike Mace says, especially with this dry year and what 
will be mandatory water conservation, my garden will just be hanging on 
in summer and I don't expect it will be as dramatic as it usually is in 
May. Walking in the wild yesterday I saw a lot of invasive non native 
Oxalis pes-caprae and Romulea rosea. Interestingly the weed magazine we 
subscribe to had an article about the latter which is also extremely 
difficult to get rid of (it's not noticeable until if flowers and then 
the flowers are only open on a warm sunny day for a few hours). Like 
Lee's experience with the weedy Nothoscordum Round-up doesn't kill it. 
They were recommending using a blow torch. The plants I saw yesterday in 
flower were very tiny and they were in abundance on the road verge so 
that doesn't seem very practical.
Flowering now in the ground, in pots, and a few in my unheated greenhouse:

Cyclamen repandum, C. coum, C. persicum, C. pseuibericum
Oxalis purpurea, O. obtusa, O. compressa, O. namaquana, until very 
recently O. luteola the latest it has ever flowered, O. triangularis 
(flowers most of the year)
All three Tropaeolums I grow (some usually sit the year out) 
brachycercas, tricolor, hookerianum ssp austro-purpurleum
Tristagma/Ipheion whatever name they are going by now uniflorum, several 
different colors, and Rolf Fiedler (the best it has ever been)
Narcissus  romieuxii var. zaianicus, Narcissus 'Smarple'
Freesia fergusoniae, Freesia  leichtlinii ssp alba
Babiana ecklonii, B. framesii, Babiana nana ssp. maculata
Calochortus uniflorus
Triteleia clementina (a surprise as I thought I had lost it but it 
apparently seeded itself in my only once ever flowering Paramongaia pot)
Scoliopus bigelovii (I grow this one in a pot sunk in the ground that 
now also has a Cyclamen coum flowering with it)
Iris unguicularis, Iris japonica, Iris tuberosa (syn. Hermodactylus 
tuberosus)
Fessia greihuberi
Cyrtanthus mackenii
Lachenalia aloides
Sparaxis hybrids, a couple just starting
Ixia rapunculoides
Hyacinthoides italica
Romulea diversiformis, Romulea flava, R. hirta, R. tetragona, R. ramiflora
Arum purpureaspathum
Clivia robusta (fading after a very long time in flower)
Gladiolus huttonii/tristis hybrid
Allium hyalinum
Tecophilaea cyanocrocus var. leichtlinii, also var. violacea
Nothoscordum sp. F&W 8485 that I have never figured out
Erythronium multiscapideum
Fritillaria davisii
Tulbaghia simmleri
Veltheimia bracteata
Spiloxene (now considered Pauridia) capensis, linearis
some red Tulip cultivars someone was going to throw out that I received 
and prechilled for 5 weeks, but some of the T. clusiana look close to 
open as well
those yellow Nothoscordum/Ipheion species that the experts can't seem to 
decide the names of
Pseudomuscari chalusicum
Wurmbea stricta (Onixotis)
Muscari armenicum
Cardamine californica

Mary Sue







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