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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

2018 Specialty Bulb List

This list is updated with sold out items, as of 8/16/2018


                2018 has found us in another unusually warm summer, with so many days hitting in the upper 90’s so far. I’ve added a few South Africans to this years list; if you follow the blog at all you know that I had a good collection of them going about 12 years ago, but lost many of them in some hard winters my first few seasons at Illahe. Since it has been so warm and dry, I’ve noticed that a few of the fall bloomers seem to want to be flowering early, so don’t be surprised if you order a fall bloomer and find it in flower.  As always I owe a huge thank you to Jane McGary for stock and advice and most of all inspiration to keep at this through the years. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Diana Reeck: her work with Erythroniums the last few years has been inspiring to me as well. Of course thank you to the loyal customers -- without you this wouldn’t be possible.
 I’ll probably be done shipping in 2-3 weeks at the most. I’ll do my best to update the list as stuff sells out. As always, numbers of some stuff are very limited, so order right away if you see something you want.

The Nursery: Illahe Nursery and Garden is located in the South Salem hills of the Central Willamette Valley of Oregon at 600 feet in elevation. The climate here has been described as Mediterranean, although it really is cooler and wetter. Rainfall occurs here primarily between the months of October and May and ranges between 40 and 80 inches. Temperatures in the winter rarely fall below 20 deg. F in the winter, but the last few winters have seen temperatures as low as 9 deg. F inside an unheated greenhouse. Summers are generally dry. The Jory loam soil here is deep and extremely fertile. Agriculture in the immediate vicinity is mostly Christmas tree production, vineyards , nursery and grass seed production.
To see pictures of the bulbs, please visit the Illahe blog at www.illaherarebulbs.blogspot.com,  or try The Random House Book of Bulbs by Martyn Rix and Roger Phillips,  or the highly recommended Pacific Bulb Society website: www.pacificbulbsociety.org.
Size of  bulbs: Bulbs have been selected for large size in hopes of providing flowering in the shortest period possible, but some bulbs are available in smaller sizes and those are noted below. Often newly potted bulbs need a year to settle in before flowering. All bulbs are priced per single bulb, unless otherwise noted.
Hardiness: I’m going to do away with this text section as I have recently delved back into growing some South African and South American species. I’ll really have to put this onto the customer to determine hardiness in the local growing area. I will say that I grow primarily in an unheated greenhouse, in western Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and I have personally seen temperatures here as low as 9 degrees F., although I will bring tender species into an unheated garage that provides a few degrees of protection, and I commonly use frost blankets in the greenhouse.

Domestic customers:
Ordering: Please send a list by email. All orders are filled in the order received, so get your order to me as quickly as possible for the best selection. Send orders to illaherarebulbs@gmail.com
Shipping: I will bill you for Priority Mail postage.
Payment: DO NOT SEND PAYMENT WITH YOUR ORDER. All bulbs are available in limited quantities and you may not receive everything you want. You will be billed after I receive your order, with a Paypal invoice,  so you will receive an invoice in an email and I will ship when you have paid. If the money is not deposited within three days of invoicing your bulbs will be returned to the inventory rack.
International Customers:
Ordering: Send your order via email.  All orders are filled in the order received, so get your order to me as quickly as possible for the best selection. Send orders to illaherarebulbs@gmail.com.
Shipping: I will bill you for first class postage, rate will be based on your order size. If you desire a faster postage rate please let me know this, and I will let you know the rate when your order is ready to be shipped.  I will bill you for Phytosanitary certification, which costs $45 per order. Due to inspection/phytosanitary scheduling I can only offer a few weeks of international shipping so please place your order no later than August 30, 2017. Get together with a garden group and do one big order if you are international and that way we can all save money and time! Seriously, it would help me, you, the plant inspector and the postman if we all consolidated a bit.
Payment: International customers will be required to pay by PayPal. Your order will be filled and inspected, you will be sent an email invoice with the PayPal deposit information. When the money is deposited your order will be shipped. If you must cancel an order, please do so promptly. If the money is not deposited within 3 business days, you will be sent a notification email and your bulbs will be returned to the inventory rack. Your bulb order leaves here with Phytosanitary certificate stating that it is free from pests and diseases and therefore not subject to quarantine; however, I do not have any control over the receiving countries’ agricultural inspections, so I cannot offer any guarantee, and the loss should your government hold your bulbs is on you. Please notify me immediately of any issues and I will do what I can.
Remember all bulbs are available in limited quantities, so whether you are domestic or international please realize I sell out of some stuff very quickly, so get your order in as soon as possible. Email is preferred for questions related to bulb purchases.
Please feel free to forward this list to anyone who might be interested.
Thank you,
Mark Akimoff
Illahe Nursery and Gardens
7645 Sunnyside Rd SE
Salem, Or 97306

Allium textile Central United States; clusters of starry white flowers. $2
Allium abramsii Purple flowers, from the Sierra Nevada of California in Fresno, Madera and Tulare Counties. $2
Allium unifolium ‘Wayne Roderick’ Late spring bloomer with electric lavender pink flowers, named for the famous California bulb man who introduced it into the trade.  $3Sold Out

Allium unifolium ‘Wayne Roderick’
Anemone nemorosa  ‘Royal Blue’ One of the bluest of the blue Wood Anemones. Tolerant of summer dry shade when dormant.  $5

Arum dioscoridis Turkey; wonderful but bad-smelling inflorescence, greenish cream heavily spotted with black. Medium, $3Sold Out
Arum byzantinum Balkans-Turkey; greenish white spathe with some purple. $5
Arum concinnatum Eastern Himalaya-Burma White Spathes/yellow spadix large tubers $4Sold Out

Biarum davisii Crete; Awesome pinkish-white spathes in the fall. $5Sold Out
Biarum tenuifolium ssp. abbreviatum Blackish spathes, flowers late summer. $4
Biarum tenuifolium ssp. zeleborii Crete, Very rare. $6Sold Out
Biarum tenuifolium Stinky, but showy in pot, and a good increaser. $3Sold Out
Biarum sp. PBS 435 these are huge corms, bloom them and identify it! $3

Brimeura fastigiata Tiny plants with bright lavender fls; hardy to at least 9 deg. F., for containers under protection from excess rain $4Sold Out

Camassia cusickii  My seed collection from grassland, meadows at about 4,500’ in the Wallowa Mts. About 15 years ago. Large spikes of very light blue flowers. $6
Camassia quamash The food staple of indigenous peoples in the Willamette Valley for millennia, tall blue/purple flower scapes. $3

Calochortus clavatus ssp. clavatus
Calochortus clavatus ssp. clavatus Brilliant yellow flowered species from Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains. Late bloomer adds length to any bulb collection’s bloom time. $7 Sold Out
Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. pomeridianum From the California chaparral and woodlands comes this very useful flower bulb; indigenous uses for the plant ranged from soap, to fish stunning toxin and antiseptic medicine. White flowers mostly open in late afternoon and evening. $3Sold out

Chinodoxa ‘Valentines Day’ Blue-Starry shaped flowers, early, Pair with C. hungaricum ‘Valentine’, for a great early show in troughs, pots or rock garden $3


Colchicum ‘White Waterlily’
Colchicum autumnale ‘Nancy Lindsay’ large corms, Fall. $4Sold Out
Colchicum autumnale ‘Rosy Dawn’ large corms, Fall. $4
Colchicum autumnale alboplenum ‘White Waterlily’  Huge, double white flowers. large corms, Fall. $7Sold out
Colchicum bivonae Sardinia-Turkey, large, tessellated pink flowers, dramatic. $5Sold Out
Colchicum cupanii Sardinia-Tunisia, Mediterranean Meadow Saffron. Dainty Fall bloomer. $3
Sold out
Colchicum ‘Disraeli’ Giant pink flowers with white tessellations, probably one of my all-time favorite fall bloomers, certainly eye-catching. $6Sold Out
Colchicum hungaricum ‘Valentine’ Outstanding February bloomer, larger than type, pink. $3
Colchicum montanum Syn. Merendera montana Spain/Portugal, fall bloomer, flowers set close to the soil surface. Nice for troughs/pots/raised beds $4
Colchicum psaridis Southern Greece. Purple-Pink fall. $4
Colchicum-Fall Starter Mix-This offering is for a mix of 3 large corms propagated from my garden beds. They can be any of a mix of C. autumnale hybrids I grow (look at past catalog offerings), and possibly one of the rarer species, for those seeking value and wanting to start or enhance a collection of autumn blooms. 3/$4.


Crocus thomasii
Crocus albiflorus Spring bloomer from the European Alps.  $3
Crocus banaticus. Balkans; once considered its own genus, this Iris-like and very unique treasure has some of the most interesting flowers in its group. $4
Crocus cartwrightianus ‘Marcel’ Stunning selection by Antoine Hoog, violet-throated, with large stigmata and anthers. $5
Crocus cartwrightianus Greece/Crete, probably one of the wild precursors of the fabled saffron crocus, it is a fantastic homegrown substitute for those that like paella. $4
Crocus kosaninii Serbia; lilac fls. $4
Crocus kotschyanusReliance’ fall; A strong-flowering selection of the species, very reliable performer. $3
Crocus kotschyanus fall; a good performer year to year; if you want a tidy autumn bloomer for the rock garden this is a good one. $3
Crocus mathewii To quote Janis Ruksans, “among the showiest and most desirable plants of every Crocus collection”. Fall-blooming, discovered as recently as 1992 in the Lycian Taurus Mts. of southern Turkey. $8Sold out
Crocus thomasii A fantastic fall blooming sativus type, strong saffron fragrance and a great increaser. Adriatic coastal species. $5
Crocus tournefortii Grecian species with lovely lilac, yellow throated fall blooming flowers. Interestingly one of only three crocus species to keep its flowers open at night, presumably because of a night-flying or crawling pollinator. $6Sold out
Crocus x leonidii ‘Early Gold’ reticulatus x angustifolius hybrid with brilliant yellow flowers usually opening in Feburary for me. Great in the rock garden. $3

Cypella herbertii
Cypella herbertii Interesting irid species from South America, with a long summer bloom period. These are in growth, so I’ll cut them back and bareroot them. Up to you If you want to dry them down or force them back into growth, for me they bloom all the way up to frost and get overwintered in the shop in sawdust. $8


Erythronium ‘Pacific Sunset Strain’

 Erythronium ‘Pacific Sunset’ strain
Over 20 years ago, Oregon plant breeder Walter Blom created some truly unique Erythronium hybrids.  He kept only the best, selecting for multiple flowers, vigor, and good increasing qualities.  We are finally releasing this first group of his hybrids as Erythronium  ‘Pacific Sunset’.  There are about 8 separate clones in this strain, and they may differ slightly in size or intensity of color, but all have lovely pink flowers with a delicate stain of green at the base, with silvery veined leaves.  They will grow to about 12”, with 2-3 flowers per stem, and increase to larger clumps every year.  $7
Sold Out 

Erythronium “Jeannine”
Erythronium ‘Jeannine’ Large sulphur yellow flowers on this vigorous hybrid, said to be a cross of E. californicum White Beauty and E. tuolumnense, vigorous at clumping as well. 1 per customer, $7Sold Out


Fritillaria pontica

Fritillaria agrestis California, Greenish, stinky bells, $5Sold Out
Fritillaria biflora "grayana" A vigorous form, flowering in late spring, California. $6
Fritillaria crassifolia JJA 17255 From the Archibald catalog: Iran, Kordestan, SW of Daraki (S of Marivan). 2500m. SW-facing limestone slope. #2nd pic (This coll. has to be almost precisely on Wendelbo’s Iranian locality for F. crassifolia subsp. poluninii but this is a big, robust plant about 25cm. $6sold out

Fritillaria crassifolia JJA 17255

Fritillaria davisii Short stems, dark pendent bells, increases well. $4
Fritillaria elwesii Beautiful narrow bells with a dusty bloom on the petals. Southern Turkey $4Sold out
Fritillaria kotschyana Originally from an Archibald collection, in Iran. I’ll have to find the number at some point. Large flowers. $5Sold Out
Fritillaria meleagris ssp . burnatii subspecies of the snakeshead fritillary from the Alpine grasslands of Italy and France. $4Sold out
Fritillaria orientalis Caucasus, checkered pendant bells, easy grower. $4Sold out
Fritillaria persica My greenish/rootbeer colored form. Turkey/Iran. 1 per customer $9Sold Out
Fritillaria pontica Tall, pale green broad pendant bells, easy lg. $4Sold Out
Fritillaria pudica lovely, yellow, nodding bells, drought tolerant. $2
Fritillaria purdyi x biflora Robust strain that arose with Jane; these are F2 seedlings, typically will have purdyi-type black-and-white checked flowers on robust biflora-type foliage and stems. $5
Fritillaria rhodocanakis Greece; this selection was originally from Hoog and labeled Fritillaria rhodocanakis ssp. argolica. Which is a very rare subspecies of an already rare plant, however that ssp. has been disputed and it may be natural variation or hybrid between F. graeca or F. spetsiotica. Beautiful brown and yellow bells. $4Sold out

Ferraria I have had a long-running passion for this genus and a few hard winters in the first few years I was at illahe taught me a hard lesson about hardiness. But I’m back at it again, with a few provisions for winter protection I’ve been building up a stock once again. Maybe the climate change I’m seeing happen will open up the Willamette Valley to production.
Ferraria schaeferi  The starfish lily, yellow flowers with brown blotching and mottling, sweetly scented. From the winter rainfall region of Namaqualand South Africa. $4
Ferraria crispa Highly variable species, seed grown corms. Coastal Namaqualand and the Cape of South Africa. $4
Ferraria uncinata Bluish Violet, yellow and brown flowers. Cape of South Africa. $4

Geranium macrostylum ‘Talish Tuberous species collected by Janis Ruksans in the Talish Mountains of Northwest Iran. $4
Gladiolus tristis The absolutely stunning and fragrant, Marsh Afrikaner, one of my favorites in the genera of bulbous flowering plants. $6
Iris aucheri ‘Indigo’ Deep Indigo blue flowers on this Juno species make it a showstopper. $8Sold Out
Pseudomuscari pallens cute little flower stalks, of whitish lavender. $3Sold out
Naricussus 'Julia Jane'


Narcissus romieuxii ‘Julia Jane’ Deep yellow widely flared “hoop petticoat” flowers, Very early. $4
Narciussus bulbocodium petite hoop peticoats in light yellow. Southern France. $3
Narcissus bulbocodium var. nivalis, small species from the Atlas Mountains, great for troughs or pots. $4
Narcissus obsoletus Fragrant white star flowered, fall bloomer from Israel. $6Sold Out
Narcissus wilkommii A deep yellow Jonquilla species with a large corona. $3
Narcissus x odorus Hybrid between N. jonquilla and N. pseudonarcissus  or  perhaps N. hispanicus. Since it has been known in cultivation since 16th century, is it surprising the actual parents aren’t known? $3

Notholirion thomsonianum Kashmir/Himalaya. Winter grower. Superb pink Fls. $4

Oxalis engleriana from shaded southern slopes along South Africa’s Cape region, pinkish starry flowers. $2Sold Out

Scilla verna For some reason I like to think of this as Europe’s version of the indomitable Camas. $3

Sternbergia sicula Mediteranean limestone dweller with wonderful yellow fall flowers $5Sold Out

Sternbergia sicula

Sternbergia lutea The indomitable Autumn Daffodil as it’s sometimes called, is a beautiful fall bloomer with deep yellow flowers. $5Sold Out

Triteleia ixioides ssp. analina California, Sierra Nevada. Very cool yellow-umbel flowers. $4sold out

Carnivorous Plants: I have to ship these as bareroots in moistened peat or vermiculite, with the pitchers cut back or folded over.  Not sure about the viability of International shipping but I will try if you are willing to pay for it

Darlingtonia californica Oregon’s own unique pitcher plant, the Cobra Lily. This form is incredibly stoloniferous, and has been an easy grower given a cool aquatic root run, these are established quart pot sized specimens. $20.
Sarracenia minor  The Hooded Pitcher from pine savannas, North Carolina to Florida. One of the species capable of growing in slightly drier conditions. $14
Sarracenia leucophylla The White Topped Pitcher plant, from bogs and pine savannas from  Mississippi to Alabama, a stunning bug killer. $14
Sarracenia sp. I think this is S. oreophila, but that is really, really rare……???? From cultivated source material, as are all the offerings except seeds. $25

Epipactis gigantea The Stream Helleborine, our native orchid, not carnivorous but often seen growing in the same situations as Darlingtonia californica, in culture it wants the same cool aquatic root run.  These are well rooted 4 inch size, shipped bareroot in moist peat or vermiculite. $12.Sold Out

Friday, August 3, 2018

"We’ll read in the autumn evenings; we’ll read many books, and a beautiful new world will open up before us.... "

“We just philosophize, complain of boredom, or drink vodka. It's so clear, you see, that if we're to begin living in the present, we must first of all redeem our past and then be done with it forever. And the only way we can redeem our past is by suffering and by giving ourselves over to exceptional labor, to steadfast and endless labor.”
                                    Anton Chekov-The Cherry Orchard

Oh, the parallels of this story to my life, the property on which Illahe sits is an old cherry orchard, I have a daughter named Anya and she is a virtuous and strong young woman much like the character in the play. The perpetual and endless labor of working the land. Clawing one finger hold at a time toward the top of the lower middle class........maybe some parallels are lost there, the aristocratic land holdings and such. I'm happy  to be much more the serf that bought the cherry orchard type. But I don't want to cut it down just yet. Too many harvests left in this lifetime. 

There was a small interest in the Carnivorous plants I was selling last year, I think I'll offer a few more of those again. I still have some nice Darlingtonia californica that I thought would be way more popular but really you all need to buy more of these so I can justify the water usage. On the non bulbous front I'll have some more of the Epipactus to sell as well.

Anya and I have been busy with the harvest, We setup in the shade of the cherry trees and thank the gods for some cooler weather! That's a stroke of luck I wasn't counting on, since it's been such a hot summer. 

Keep checking back because the list is coming soon!


Mark Akimoff

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Harvest Time

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” 

Hmmmm.......Sound familiar to anyone? Seems to reflect some current situations we see today.......Imagine being the press secretary for such a buffoon. Professional liar. I think George Washington said it simply "It's better to offer no excuse than a bad one". I make no apology for politicizing a blog that is mostly about flower bulbs and i'll offer no apology for filling a political blog with so many posts about flower bulbs. 

Amaryllis belladona bulb

The harvest is on! The repotting soil is stacked by the yard, the racks of bulk bulb bins are laid out in the shop, the packing tape is locked in the dispenser. Here's to hoping it's a been a productive year!

The heat wave has broken, the first day below 90 in some time and finally a cool cloudy day, perfect weather to start the harvest!

Catalog coming soon.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Calochortus clavatus var. clavatus

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” John Keats

Calochortus clavatus var. clavatus

Keats wrote that in a love letter to his fiance, Fanny Brawne, but he died 3 years after the engagment, and before they could receive the consent of Fanny's Mother, to wed, apparently she didn't approve of Keats..........I guess a poet was too much of a risk back in those days. You don't want to end up being "a liability to someones career", I guess. Such a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions really.

I was following a posting on the PBS discussion emails about late blooming Calochortus. The C. clavatus var. clavatus above is the last to bloom for me. Now comes the season of the summer Gladiolous and Acidanthera. C. clavatus var. clavatus hails from the coastal and valley foothills of Southern California. Were one to take that iconic trip up Mullholland Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains above Los Angeles you could encounter this variety growing along the roadside. This is one of the drier clime species for sure, with the average annual rainfall in it's type local hitting somewhere around 13" per year. The average lows it sees are pretty mild as well, it's been down into the 20's for me, but would likely seldom if ever see this type of a low in the wild. I haven't noticed any pollinators on this one yet, but I sure do hope it sets seed.

Catalog out sometime in Early August.

We are locked into our typical modified meditteranean summer now, highs in the 80's, comfortably cool at night, dew still on the grass in the morning.



Thursday, July 5, 2018

Summer Fun

"The most successfull people are those who do all year long what they would othwerwise do on summer vacation"
                                                                 Mark Twain

By this account i'm woefully unsuccessful, if I could I would travel constantly, see all the new places, catch fish in far off lands and botanize the world. But until that lottery ticket hits, I remain for the most part shackled to the desk and bound to the paycheck. But every once in awhile I escape, or am granted the freedom to use those accrued vacation hours to see what can be seen.
The Rock gardens were bursting with color, although I think you could even push it a few weeks out for some pretty spectacular shows. 

Just back from a fun visit to my sisters place in Reno. Took the kiddo to Tahoe for the first time and we swam in that beautiful blue water. Toured the Tesla Giga Factory and marvelled at mans scientific and technological advances. Seeing that huge building, I kind of wonder what it must have been like for the first explorer who wandered into the Valley of the Kings. Just amazing what people are capable of building when they decide they want to go bigger then everyone else. 

Despite many awesome moments on this fun summer vacation trip, a highlight for me was a quick hike up around 7,000' in the Sierra Nevada. Below are a few pics.

What a beautiful natural rock garden setting can be found around Incline Lake. 

I love finding Monkeyflowers, not the most floriferous version of Mimulus tilingii i've ever seen but it had nice large flowers. 

Pussy paws, phlox and lupines in a veritable carpet.

We didn't get to any snow where we were at and I would have loved to have had more time for exploration above and beyond the ridges. But I will be back for more of that with more time at some point I'm sure.

Catalog update:

So it's looking like the dry spring and early summer have most of the stuff going dormant now, Still waiting for a few Calochortus to call it quits for the season, but so far it's looking like I'll be able to start harvest around the end of July which would make for an early August release of the bulb catalog. Stay tuned for more updates.