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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.


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.


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.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Something different

Eucharis amazonica
This is blooming next to my computer screen in my office on a blustery, wet spring day.

I actually got this from my cousin who's family ran the palm tree plantation in Hawaii. Not sure if this is wild sourced or not, but my uncle spent a good deal of time in the jungles of central and south america.

I love the fragrance of this plant and it really does look like a Narcisuss on steroids, blooms a couple of times every year and the leaves are dark and glossy so it looks good in the office even when it isn't blooming.

Tropical river of moisture flowing in from the pacific all week says the weatherman.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cheers to the first day of spring!

Fritillaria crassifolia ssp. Kurdica

One of my all time favorites for its waxy bluish bloom. You can definitely see the differences between this and the JJA selections posted earlier.

I'm dedicating this post to my dad who is in Armenia on a work trip right now. Wishing him a safe return and wishing he would hook me up with some seed collectors in that part of the world.

So the wait is finally over. I collected seed of this along southern Oregon Rogue River (incidentaly the wild and scenic section from graves creek to foster bar is one if not the most beautiful pieces of country in the world. I have rowed it in a raft and hiked the 32 miles) anyway, that was in 2004 and this year it finally bloomed. I know that time period could have been shorter given what I now know about cultivation of bulbs. But regardless its cool to see something 10 years old finally mature.

I'm pretty sure this is Fritillaria montana, although I didn't go digging for the label in my haste. It seems darker than usual and makes a good show with the surrounding Narcissus.

It was 27 degrees in the bulb house this morning and I had to scrape ice off the car. Warmed up a bit and I'm thankful for the partly cloudy skies this afternoon to hopefully hold some warmth in....I'm ready for spring proper!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Help a brother out!

So I think this is Leucojum aestivum...But I'm not 100% sure.
It came with the house, and the house come with a story. So sit back and relax and I'll tell you a little of the history of Sunnyside, Oregon. 
The house was built in 1932, at least that's what it says on the deed. Based on the foundation, which I have had the absolute displeasure of inspecting, because that means crawling into the crawl space of an 82 year old house, complete with giant spiders, the original building was actually a prune drying shed, which would is consistent with the shape and size of half the foundation, at some point, and I'm guessing it was 1932, someone added on to the prune drying shed and decided to call it a "house". The prune drying shed hypothesis comes from some late 1800 surveys of the area I was able to dig up and a neat little chapter in a Marion County Historical society publication about how the hills in Southeast Salem were home to a large number of prune drying barons, the sheds in the photgraphs matching almost exactly the original foundation dimensions based on scale reference.....Jory Hill sitting just above me (remember Hung Valley from my intro post), was named for a very famous prune dryer who owned a lot of land around this area. 
The 82 year old house as it looks today.
So the road running in front of the house is called the Old Salem Highway on the deed and apparently if you trace the history back far enough, that was the main route south, long before they built interstate 5. Across Jackson Hill rd is was a horse changing station back in the late 1800's, whereby if you were enroute to Albany, Corvallis or Eugene and left the Salem Depot, your carriage would stop at Sunnyside to switch horses out for fresh legs.

This is getting long winded and what I'm really trying to say is that the house is relatively old and has some history attached to it. The Snowflake came with the house, and I don't know how old it is. Anyone out there that might be able to tell if that is maybe a species, or some cultivar that someone may have planted long after the house was built?

 For the sake of bulb interest I've included a picture of Acis tingitana, which apparently was once a Luecojum, seems to have the exact same bloom time as the possible aestivum above, but I think these are now safe to call Acis.

Ok....can you tell that I actually sat down in front of a computer, instead of typing on my phone for this post?......But in all honesty, if you can point out the true identity of the Luecojum above it would help me out a great deal.

Foggy mornings, Sunshine in the afternoons and into the high 50's.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bombus Rising

One humble bumble taking a break on Narcissus wilkomii.

Of the four honey bee hives on the property two made it through the winter, one is going strong, the other seems in decline from the hard winter.

Chinodoxa "Valentines Day"
Was about 2 weeks late, I'll have to see if this is a good indicator, but it seems to me some of the Frits are earlier.

Sun, rain, sun...supposed to make thunderstorms happen tomorrow. But for now, drizzle outside and 71 in the bulb house.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Into the unknown

Fritillaria sp. JJA 17242

Thanks to Ron we have this collection locality as :  Iran, Kordestan, East of Shuysheh ( SE of Marivan ), 1750m. Open shale slopes"

Good luck trying to collect some more of that seed! Although if you are able please drop me a line, I'm sure we can work something out.

Same seed lot with a bit of variability, this one has a bit of the waxy bloom that I see in my Fritillaria crassifolia ssp. kurdica which is about a week behind these.

Sunny and 65 looks like we are headed for a stretch of good weather.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6th 2014

Fritillaria JJA 17255

Jane and I discussed that these are probably a form of Fritillaria crassifolia.

The collection location is Iran, I believe .maybe the elburz mountains...anyone have some old Archibald catalogs?

Set a new record for rainfall in Salem for yesterdays date and it now stands at 1.46".

Supposed to be warming and drying out!



Monday, March 3, 2014

March is here!

Fritillaria obliqua
Always nice when the flower that started you on a tangent in your life opens up for the season.

As promised...F. 'Richard Britten' alongside one of the wild types...I should note, this is not the John Day large form. Still look at the stem size for a good idea of the size difference..also the color on 'Richard Britten' is starting to orange a bit as a consequence of having been open for a week and a half.

Temps in the 50's and getting to be the time of year I most look forward to, getting to come home from work and spend an hour taking photographs in the greenhouse!

Big rain supposed to come this week to the valley..maybe flooding in the lowlands.