Makiko Goto-Widerman
Sun, 14 Oct 2018 17:59:42 PDT
Hello Jane,

I was wondering why the name, Sternbergia is familiar with me.  I checked
the picture of flower.  Now I remembered the bright yellow flower.
I used to grow Sternbergia in Japan.  I was not aware that they were
originally from Mediterranean climate.
They bloomed easily in regular garden soil.

*Makiko Goto-Widerman*

On Sun, Oct 14, 2018 at 4:42 PM Jane McGary <>

> Although Sternbergia lutea (including sicula) does often grow on rocky
> slopes, I have also seen wild populations growing on flattish sites,
> though also rocky. I've seen some growing in small holes in limestone,
> too. Where it grows, however, almost all soils are rocky. Mine are
> growing in sharp sand and gravel, but I remember seeing a good colony
> here in Portland in what appeared to be pretty ordinary well-drained
> garden soil. It does prefer full sun both in nature and in the garden. I
> think the soil has to heat up in summer; some ordinary S. lutea I
> planted under mat-forming thyme have failed to thrive. I put them there
> to guard against the Narcissus fly.
> That raises another possibility why Sylvia's plants have diminished:
> Narcissus fly, or bulb fly, attacks sternbergias badly. The best defense
> is to cover the plants with Reemay or a scoop of gravel when the foliage
> starts to turn color before withering, so the fly can't lay its eggs on
> the leaves (the larva hatches and crawls down into the bulb through the
> gap left by the scape, then eats the bulb). I didn't happen to cover my
> S. greuteriana in an open raised bed, but I have a lot of ordinary
> daffodils nearby, partly to lure the bulb flies away from more valuable
> plants. Most of my sternbergia stock is in the bulb house, which has
> wire mesh sides that seem to keep the bulb flies out; also I go into it
> frequently during the time they emerge and kill any that I hear.
> I wonder if Sylvia's garden in Oakland (east of San Francisco Bay) is
> shady? If you don't have a slope, a gravelly raised bed in sun will
> serve the same purpose.
> Jane McGary
> On 10/14/2018 11:35 AM, Sylvia Sykora wrote:
> > Reading Jane’s posting about Sternbergia reminded me that here in the
> Bay Area of California, I see very few plantings;  mine have diminished to
> only two stalwart plants from an original larger planting.  I recently read
> in a book by a British (!) gardener that based on where he saw Sternbergia
> growing in the wild, success was dependent on growing them in full sun,
> among rocks on a slope.  And ideas for those of us without a rocky slope?
> >
> > Thank you.
> >
> > Sylvia Sykora
> > Oakland CA where we’re in Fire Watch mode today
> >
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