Blooming now

M Gastil-Buhl
Thu, 04 Apr 2019 16:31:37 PDT
Much of February and March the weather had been cool and overcast but last
week the air temperature rose and the sun felt strong. Several species
opened their first bloom (of this year) and one ripened seed. Orthrosanthus
multiflorus has bloomed the first time ever for me, having only grown
leaves for about a decade. To me it resembles an Aristea.

Not their first ever, but just now coming into bloom are the Geissorhiza
aspera, Moraea polyanthos, and Ixia monadelpha. And Sunday I collected the
first harvest of seed of the year from Gladiolus caeruleus and Gladiolus

This may be peak bloom for several Moraea species including M. villosa,
MM's varieties "A" and "B", M. gigandra, M. tripetala and M. aristata. The
M. polystachya finished awhile ago.

The Dichelostemma capitatum keep on pushing up new buds to follow the long,
looping thick stalks with some blooms now open over a month. The bulb beds
are forests of tall purple pom poms waving in the breeze. I am curious if
others have noticed D. capitatum to drape its long leaves over the sunny
side of a raised box. This morning I looked carefully and I would estimate
less than 1% of the leaves drape over on the north side of the box while
the south side is covered heavily.

The Scilla peruviana beds are past peak. Those had a bumper bloom this
year. The Velthemia bracteata are all open. The Lachenalia are mostly done.
The Tropaeolum hookerianum is still blooming some and seed pods are
forming. The Ixia rapunculoides seed pods look promising. And it is going
to be a good year for  the tall Dierama. Rain makes such a difference.

Ordinary commercial garden hybrids are helping color the garden. The
Mascara armenicum are mostly finished but the 'Dutch' Iris just began last
week. What I call 'Bluebells', Scilla hispanica hybrids, are at peak
purpleness. Scarlet Ixia are opening not just where I have planted them,
but also scattered around the garden. The first of the white 4 foot tall
Watsonia opened, with many stalks in bud. The beds of Ipheion are just past
peak now with more seed pods than blue stars. The 'Jessie' bloomed later
than the older varieties and I notice there has been some mixing.

In December 2017, into January 2018, a thick blanket of ash covered the
garden. I am curious how this is affecting some species. An Aristea
capitata produces a big crop of seeds each summer; but over the decade I
have grown it I have only observed 3 seedlings. This year I see so many
seedlings crowded so thickly it is like a tiny lawn of Aristea sprouts. I
suspect the ash caused this. Also this may have caused the Codonorhiza
corymbosa to bloom. It has not opened yet, but has buds I am watching

Well that's the excitement in my garden.

Santa Barbara, California

PS Although I checked spelling of the species names, spell-check keeps
messing them up. Apparently spell-check does not refer to ICBN.
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