Checking California bulb species

Jane McGary via pbs
Sat, 06 Jun 2020 22:10:23 PDT
Nan's remarks are in turn baffling to me. How have you planted them? Is 
your soil unusual in some way? What kinds of plants do well there? Do 
you have a lot of rodents in your garden, such as ground squirrels, 
which eat the bulbs? (Bears also love to eat them, but perhaps they are 
not common in your garden.)

Diana Chapman's Telos Rare Bulbs list has many native bulbs, as does 
Robin's Hansen Nursery. In addition, mass-market Dutch bulb catalogs 
offer a number of western American bulbs, almost all of them under the 
wrong names, but they have pictures. I'll probably send some bulbs to 
the BX this summer, and last year Jim Barton of Modesto, CA, donated 
quite a few.

I can't think why themids would "have a reputation for being very 
difficult to grow." Possibly literature from conservation groups 
suggests this to keep people from digging them in the wild? I grew all 
of mine from seed originally and they set masses of seed, which is a 
little hard to clean but I always donate some to exchanges.

Mary Sue mentioned the long flowering period of Triteleia ixioides. It 
seems to open flushes of flowers one after another, which makes the 
flower head less suitable for cutting than some others. All the themids 
are great for flower arrangements, very long-lasting. Indeed, a 
flowering stem detached from the bulb will lie on the ground and 
complete its flowering and seed maturation just from the moisture in the 
long stem. If Japanese or modernistic floral design is an interest of 
yours, you'll find plenty of inspiration in species such as 
Dichelostemma ida-maia and Triteleia peduncularis.

Jane McGary, Portland, Oregon, USA

On 6/6/2020 3:05 PM, Nan Sterman wrote:
> This is an interesting and baffling email in a few respects.  I live in Southern California and the California native bulbs listed are very hard to find for sale. They also have a reputation for being very difficult to grow in general and my experience is the same.  To say they are “too easy to grow” is a big surprise to me.  Perhaps they are easy in Oregon but not in Southern California though many are native here. If someone knows of sources for bulbs (rather than seeds), I’d love to get that information.
> Nan Sterman
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