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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter on the horizon


Look at all the flowers on this F. Purdyi x F. Biflora hybrid!



This is a Fritillaria glauca, notice the cut stump treatment on the ripening seed pod on the left. This was fertilized by Fritillaria eastoodiae.

The cut stump treatment is supposed to help the pollen make it down the pollen tube better. I guess we will see could make an interesting hybrid.

Weird year much of the early stuff was really early and the late stuff hasn't showed up yet.

Rain, wind....temps in the 50's.

Cheers to warmer weather in California this weekend.

Mark

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax day


Fritillaria liliacea

What a beauty and a rarity from the bay area. I'm actually headed into its native range for the weekend for a family reunion. This one has just plodded along in the raised bed for years, never blooming and this year...Bam, a whole bunch of flowers what a treat.

Taxes and death my friends..taxes and death.

Warm and sunny the last week. Showers on the horizon.

Cheers,

Mark

Friday, April 4, 2014

Early April


Fritillaria agrestis

Someone wrote on the pbs email list wondering how long F. agrestis blooms last. I just noticed this one open today, although it appears to have been open for a bit...regardless, I'll count the days till it closes so the info is out there.



Fritillaria recurva

Doing its thang! Haven't seen any hummingbirds in the greenhouse but I've been using this pollen on a lot of other species.



Tulipa ostrwaskiana

Don't think I have the spelling right on that. Last year a nice fellow from the northern lands came by to take pictures of some of the tulips for an article he was writing for pacific horticulture. I never did hear if it was published.

Supposed to turn a weather corner with highs in the 70's next week! Working over time pulling trees off bridge footings for the city tomorrow so the weekend is shot but the pocketbook will be happier.

Cheers,

Mark

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Only fools rush in


Fritillaria acmopetala 'dark form'

Lovely....just lovely.



Pollen collection for the breeding program.

Yes, its April fools day. But knowing how long it takes to create viable, commercial bulb hybrids, I may be the fool for beginning this undertaking. Then again, maybe sometime in my mid 50's I'll be able to make some introductions. Moostly playing with some of the more obscure Californians for know. I did manage to find some chromosome counts for some Turkish species and interestingly enough they match the Californians for the most part.

Partly cloudy, 58 degrees. Supposed to be some sun tomorrow.

Cheers,
Mark

Monday, March 31, 2014

Its Juno time


One of the raised beds.

Double post today, aren't you lucky. I was doing an evening stroll and noticed the junos doing there thing.



Peonia brownii

Yay! Its back. I shared with you how it bloomed for the first time last year after what seemed like an eternity. I always get nervous after a treasured plant blooms for the first time. I always think it may be just putting up one last hurrah. Glad to see she is back and getting bigger.

Cheers,
Mark

Exit March


Fritillaria eastwoodiae

I've always loved plants named after Alice Eastwood. My old mentor Jack Poff would tell stories about her, I don't know if he ever met her but he had great stories about her botanical expeditions.

So this particular plant is interesting in that the flower on the right actually developed underground. Long after the flower stalk on left emerged, I noticed a bulge in the soil surface. Scraping around a bit, I uncover this blanched out flower stalk with all these white buds on it. I'm attributing this to an application of a trifluralin based preemergent herbicide called snapshot 2.5tg.

I don't use preemergents every year, mostly because of the cost associated with it. Seems I can only afford it about every other year.

This year I noticed a soil crusting effect that was causing some emergence issues. There is really a lack of published data of the effects of chemicals on the bulbs I grow. Lots of stuff available for tulips, but try to find a study run on species fritillaries.

So I think next year I'm gonna run an experiment on a few different preemergent herbicides to really quantify the effects.... if I had any peers I would let them read it so it can be called peer reviewed! Haha....that's really a stab at my lack of graduate school credentials.



Fritillaria stribyrni......????
Question marks are for the species spelling which I don't think I have right but I'm writing this on a telephone in my bulb house.

Happy to say goodbye to a very wet march and hoping for some sunnier skies in April.

Cheers,
Mark

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring break in Oregon equals 2" of rain


Fritillaria crassifolia small form

This is the last of the crassifolia complex I have to bloom. It has the strongest checker pattern of them all, some of the nice bluish bloom and just a hint of yellow on the tips.



Fritillaria recurva
In bud, doing good this year!

Yes, the title of this post is true...pouring cats and dogs as we made our way back from chehalis, Washington for a little spring break get away.

Cheers

Mark