Homeria bulbs

Michael Mace michaelcmace@gmail.com
Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:55:58 PST
Mary Sue wrote:

> Moraea collina, M. flaccida, M. miniata, M. ochroleuca, and M. pallida

Yes, those five species are prohibited from interstate commerce in the US.
So no importation into the country and no movement between states, unless
you have a permit.

I've probably mentioned this on the list before, but we've had a lot of
newcomers so it's worth mentioning again: I did some research into the
original ban on these species, and as far as I can tell it wasn't based on
concerns about individual gardeners growing the plants. Someone applied for
a permit to import livestock feed contaminated by seed of some Homeria
species. 

The species listed are reportedly toxic to livestock, and they have
naturalized in parts of Australia. I'd add that I've seen one of them
growing in cultivated fields in South Africa, and they can be so numerous
that the flowers make a pale orange haze. If you think about how animal feed
can be used -- spread on the ground in large quantities in rural areas --
the idea of importing contaminated feed into the US is kind of
uncomfortable. So the US turned down the permit and banned those species
from importation.

Having said that, those of us who grow the suspect Homerias (obtained before
the import ban) have found them to be difficult to maintain in the ground. I
don't think any of us have ever seen signs of invasiveness. I suspect that
the differences in climate and plant predators between here and Australia
keep them in check. But still, I think it's best to be careful with these,
and I would not spread them around.

Mike
San Jose, CA

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