We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 3241 times)

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4820
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2023, 07:54:03 PM »
Hi Leena,

I thought you might enjoy these photographs of some of our local high elevation Primula (Dodecatheon) species.



This photograph of Primula (Dodecatheon) jeffreyi was taken on 20 July 2017 on my way to Red Peak at an elevation of 6,793 ft. (2,071 meters) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. I have observed this population for many years. During wet years this population thrives, yet during extremely dry seasons this site can become very dry and the plants go into premature dormancy.

Another population of this species can be found growing on the banks of a stream in a meadow that was once a shallow lake when the last Ice Age ended. The meadow is very hydric. Even during seasons of extreme drought the parts of the meadow near the stream remain hydric. Based on my observations, it seems possible that Dodecatheon jeffreyi would grow well in your garden, despite your heavy clay. A raised bed with plenty of organic material in the soil would likely please them even more.



I took this photograph of Primula tetrandra on 24 August 2017 on the banks of Island Lake at an elevation of 8,145 ft. (2,483 meters). This site is near the crest of the Crystal Range and is a true alpine setting. I always find his species growing in hydric to near hydric sites. This species is quite small and is likely better planted in an alpine type garden rather than a perennial type border.

Primula tetrandra is very closely related to Primula jeffreyi. The two species often hybridize with each other in the wild. In these situations the distinction between the two species becomes blurred. This situation occurs with many of our native “Dodecatheon” species. There are gradations in characteristics as the low elevation species Primula clevelandii (edge of the foothills) merges with low-mid elevation populations of Primula hendersonii (foothills). At higher elevations Primula hendersonii blends with low elevation forms of Primula subalpina (mountains), and so on. Unless great care is taken in garden situations most Dodecatheon seeds offered by collectors are likely hybrids.

The nomenclature of Dodecatheon can get confusing. For example, here in California the Genus Dodecatheon has been merged into the Genus Primula. The previous name for Primula tetrandra was Dodecatheon alpinum. At times the name Doddecatheon jeffreyi var. alpinum was used instead of Dodecatheon alpinum. Considering all the name changes, and the propensity for the species to easily hybridize with each other in cultivation, it can frequently be extremely difficult to know what one has in their garden. Having an accurate history of a plant’s origin makes positive identification possible if this is an important consideration.



One last photograph…

Primula hendersonii and Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis growing in the wild on our farm property in Placerville, California.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Mariette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 775
  • Country: de
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2023, 11:20:57 AM »
Leena, Your beautiful pictures make me long for a spell of winter - snow has become a very rare event here within the last 25 years. Also, I marvel at the range of plants You´re able to grow so high up in the North, as I failed to cultivate them here. Dodecatheon/Primula - species, for instance, always died away in spells of severe drought, whereas other plants are killed in times of the very very wet conditions we face here, as well.

Strobilanthes penstemonoides flowers till the start of frost, which may be expected in our part of the world during the next nights.



The hydrangeas enjoyed the 900 mm of rainfall we had this year till now and show fresh flowers, faded ones as well as some autumn colour of the leaves at the same time.



The sasanqua camellias are flowering now, this is ´Hiryu´.



Sarcococca orientalis starts to flower very early, this year. The flowers are not showy, but the scent is great.



Once I grew Malva sylvestris ´Primley Blue´, which was short-lived here as all plants of this species. Occasionally a similar seedling turned up, but this year I was surprised by a deep blue one.  :)

« Last Edit: November 27, 2023, 11:34:58 AM by Mariette »

Leena

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2782
  • Country: fi
    • Leena's You Tube Videos
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2023, 03:08:37 PM »
Based on my observations, it seems possible that Dodecatheon jeffreyi would grow well in your garden, despite your heavy clay. A raised bed with plenty of organic material in the soil would likely please them even more.

At higher elevations Primula hendersonii blends with low elevation forms of Primula subalpina (mountains), and so on. Unless great care is taken in garden situations most Dodecatheon seeds offered by collectors are likely hybrids.

Robert, thank you for your pictures and observations about Dodecatheon/Primula in your area. It was very interesting,
and you could be right that D.jefferyi would grow well in my heavy clay. It keeps moisture even during dry periods quite well, without watering if I have some mulch on top. Many times when I have posted pictures people have been wondering how lush it can look even after dry periods. The downside is that it can be very wet also in winter and thus freezes deep, and some plants (quite a lot actually) don't like it and die. I have tried to do my woodland beds as raised beds made on top of natural soil with leaf mold and such, but there seems never to be enough compost and leaf mold for all places.

It is good to know that they hybridize easily even in nature, so for sure they will do that in gardens. On the other hand I like to know what is what, but on the other hand the most important is to get good garden plants which give me joy and grow well. :)

In this years seed exchange there are souple of Dodecatheons unknown to me.
D.clevelandii, maybe this is not hardy enough to grow here?
D.frigidum, this would be worth a try, do you thing?
D.pauciflorum, google says it is a synonym of D.meadia, but does anyone know if there are differences in them and what they are?

I looked up how deep the ground frost is here in avarage, and in my region the average between 1981- 2010 in open clay soil has been around 45cm and in forests in sandy soil 20cm, but it varies a lot from year to year. There have been winters like 2019-2020 when there was hardly no ground frost at all (that was my dream winter with only two weeks of snow and cold), and then there has been winters with ground frost as deep as 90cm. Ground frost is usually the deepest at the end of winter, but some years it can freeze deep even in the beginning if there is not much snow (like now and 2021-2022).

Leena from south of Finland

Leena

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2782
  • Country: fi
    • Leena's You Tube Videos
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2023, 03:14:27 PM »
Thank you Mariette. :) Many plants are surprisingly hardy, and it is only by trying them how you find out which ones would grow here (and in my soil and garden - I know people who are able to grow some plants much farther north when I can't succeed here. It is always a matter of soil, too).

Once I grew Malva sylvestris ´Primley Blue´, which was short-lived here as all plants of this species. Occasionally a similar seedling turned up, but this year I was surprised by a deep blue one.  :)

That is a beautiful colour. I haven't seen it before. I grow Malva sylvestris ssp mauritiana which is purple, and it is annual here, but it's seeds survive the winter most of the time, so I get new plants from them almost every year. I use it's flowers in herb tea.
Leena from south of Finland

Mariette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 775
  • Country: de
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2023, 04:05:42 PM »
Yes, the deep blue is very nice.  :) When I bought ´Primley Blue´decades ago, it was the only blueflowering selection available. Nowadays, there are several others, like ´Blue Fountain´and ´Marina´s Blue Eyes´, as I found out. In my garden, Malva sylvestris is very short-lived, too. As I grow ssp mauritiana as well, I imagine, my deep blue-flowered seedling may be a cross between ´Primley Blue´and that subspecies.

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4820
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2023, 06:18:56 PM »
Hi Leena,



This is a photograph from the top of Table Mountain in Butte County, California taken on 4 November 2016. This is at the beginning of the rainy season and the annual grasses are beginning to grow among the dry plant remains from the summer dry season. Dodecatheon clevelandii can be found on Table Mountain. Daytime high temperatures frequently reach 110 to 115 F (43.3 C to 46.1 C) during the summer and there is more or less no precipitation during the 4 months of “summer” weather. To survive such an environment Dodecatheon clevelandii becomes completely dormant during the summer. During the winter months there can be a great deal of precipitation. Table Mountain is part of the remains of an ancient Basalt lava flow. There is not much soil and the drainage is poor. Many vernal pools form during the winter. These pools are habitat for many unique plant species that bloom in rings around the edges of the pools as the water recedes during the spring. During good seasons the wildflowers can be spectacular!

Dodecatheon clevelandii is found in similar habitats throughout California. Most likely this species would not grow at all in your climate – too cold during the winter – too wet during the summer – however for the adventuresome it might be fun to try it anyway. Who knows what surprises might arise.



This is a view of Table Mountain from the Sacramento Valley. Many seasonal waterfall form during the rainy season and they are quite beautiful.



This is another scene from the top of Table Mountain with the Sutter Buttes in the distance. This is one of my favorite scenes to enjoy from the top of Table Mountain, especially as dusk approaches. I have a better photograph of this scene on another computer that I will have to transfer.

I will continue this thread the next time I have time to write. I have a few comments concerning the other Dodecatheon species that you mentioned that might be of interest to many of the Forumist out there.

Mariette,

Wonderful photograhs from your garden as usual.  8)   :)

Thank you for sharing the photographs and all the interesting information about your plants and garden. As I remember you are dealing with heavy clay soil. How different plants preform in this soil environment is very interesting and valuable to other gardeners.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

MarcR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
  • Country: us
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2023, 08:47:27 PM »
Robert,

Those are very beautiful landscapes and very skillful photographs!
I used to enjoy hiking into remote areas taking photographs and collecting seeds.
I am now physically unable to hike or use a camera. I am still enjoying plants grown from seed collected when I was able to hike.
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

Redmires

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Country: gb
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2023, 10:17:22 AM »
Robert,
It was fascinating to see your photos of Table Mountain and read about the habitat. At distance, as in your first photo, the landscape looks strikingly similar to upland plateaus in the north of Britain, but it clearly isn't, because the rainfall distribution is so different! Our uplands are much wetter and the Kinder Scout plateau (fairly near me) is classified as a blanket bog. That's not actually as wet as it sounds and areas that are under water in the winter become merely damp in the summer. This year we've had a very wet autumn, so some of the patches that spend most of the winter as standing water have already been inundated.

The plant community is quite specialist and includes some real rarities, but in a panoramic view you'd see lots of heather (Calluna vulgaris), bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), where it's wetter, Festuca ovina, Deschampsia flexuosa, Molinia caerulea (much, much shorter and very different in appearance from all the garden cultivars). In the wetter places there are flushes of cotton grasses (Eriophorum spp. - very pretty from a distance) and lots of rushes and sedges; get closer to the ground in the wettest places and you'd see a lot of different bog mosses. Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) is supposed to prefer limestone flushes, but seems to be quite common on the acidic moorlands near me, there are also lots of heath spotted orchids (Dactylorhiza maculata). It's a brilliant habitat for ground-nesting birds - I see a lot of curlews and lapwings.

I don't have any photos of the Kinder Scout plateau and couldn't find a good free one, but at least the image below shows the cotton grass nicely.
717759-0

Lower down we have floodplain meadows, which might interest you because of their links with farming. The Floodplains Partnership says 'They were a particularly valued part of the agricultural system. Because they receive regular silt deposition from river floods, the nutrients removed in the hay crop are replenished naturally without the need for artificial fertilisers. This naturally high fertility enables the grasses to continue to grow strongly after the hay cut, allowing grazing of the 'aftermath' during August and September. Traditionally cattle grazed the meadows through the autumn with sheep in winter if the soil was not too wet.' They have info on the plant communities and biodiversity if you're interested.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 10:39:24 AM by Redmires »

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4820
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2023, 05:03:09 PM »
Redmires,

I found your synopsis of the Kinder Scout very fascinating. Your comment about Molina cearulea, in particular, caught my attention. Identifying horticulturally significant ecotypes within unique ecosystems is one of my avocational pursuits in my so-called “retirement”. Using these unique plants to create innovative, and useful garden plants that are reasonably easy-to-grow and accessible to gardeners is part of my miniature scaled R & D (Research and Development) pursuit here in California.

So, thank you for taking the time to share this information.

I am a farmer. I have never met a “retired” farmer. I think that we die with our boots on. I do follow trends in global agriculture the best I can. It can easily get overwhelming and I have limits, as we all do, in what I can do. Staying focused is important. The Floodplains Partnership sounds interesting and worth looking into. Thank you for the lead.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4820
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2023, 05:04:50 PM »
Robert,

Those are very beautiful landscapes and very skillful photographs!
I used to enjoy hiking into remote areas taking photographs and collecting seeds.
I am now physically unable to hike or use a camera. I am still enjoying plants grown from seed collected when I was able to hike.

Hi Marc

We all live with limitations. It is good to read that you still find great fulfillment and enjoyment in the plants you have grown from seed you gathered in the past. Based on your comments it sounds like you are still enjoying gardening and plants immensely despite your physical limitations. This sounds like a good thing to me.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

MarcR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
  • Country: us
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2023, 09:02:48 PM »
Hi Marc

We all live with limitations. It is good to read that you still find great fulfillment and enjoyment in the plants you have grown from seed you gathered in the past. Based on your comments it sounds like you are still enjoying gardening and plants immensely despite your physical limitations. This sounds like a good thing to me.  :)



Robert,

I do indeed still enjoy gardening; and I also enjoy contributing to others' enjoyment. Now I garden on my hands and knees instead of on my feet.

Believe it or not, I still manage to keep .875 acre of mostly beds relatively weed free.
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

Jeffnz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2023, 11:08:17 PM »
I hope that you are using a padded knee pad with side arms to help push up to vertical, Without this I would not be amble to weed or plant out.

MarcR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
  • Country: us
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2023, 02:06:16 PM »
Jeff,

I use 2 oval discs of thick foam mattress material covered with strips of saddle leather taped over my knees & legs, under my clothing. They are not as good as real knee pads; but they work for me.  They need to be replaced frequently; but I have a discarded foam mattress to cut them from.  The leather lasts much longer than the foam.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2023, 02:29:31 PM by MarcR »
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

Leena

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2782
  • Country: fi
    • Leena's You Tube Videos
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2023, 10:22:21 AM »
Dodecatheon clevelandii is found in similar habitats throughout California. Most likely this species would not grow at all in your climate – too cold during the winter – too wet during the summer

Robert, thank you for the advise. 
I didn't order D.clevelandii now, only the other ones and hopefully get some seeds. :)
It is cold here now, last night -20C, but luckily there is some snow cover to protect my plants.
Leena from south of Finland

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4820
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: November 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2023, 06:17:35 PM »
Hi Leena,

My understanding is that you have requested seed of Dodecatheon frigidum and D. pauciflorum from the seed exchange?

I have never grown Dodecatheon frigidum. From what I have read about the species it appears that it would be cold hardy and tolerant of summertime moisture. Perhaps this species would be a very good candidate for your garden. It seems well worth the effort to give it a try. I will be extremely curious with your results with this species.

There seems to be a great deal of taxonomic disagreement surrounding the whole Primula pauciflora complex. Lumped into this is Dodecatheon pauciflorum, as well as a large spectrum of similar, yet still quite distinct and variable plants. Plants known as Dodecateon pulchellum have been lumped into this group.

Based on my experiences and observations Primula/Dodecatheon appear to be an outbreeding species. Unless measures are taken to control pollination, they will easily cross with other species. This is my experience. I would be skeptical of the purity of any garden seed where two or more species are grown in close proximity with each other. I have observed clouds of pollen being shed from the ripe anthers – much like what ones sees on ripe maize (corn) tassels. I cross-pollinate all my Primula/Dodecatheon in isolation or under a plastic cloche.

Another consideration might be possible genetic bottlenecks. If indeed Primula/Dodecatheon are outbreeding species, then selfed (some outbreeders will not self, such as many Lilium species) plants may be genetically weak due to the buildup of detrimental and lethal recessive genes. This can be especially true when outbreeding species have been selfed for a number of generations, or inadequate numbers of plants have been allowed to cross-pollinate with each other. These issues inform concerns I have when I read lists of offerings on seed exchanges; the history of the seeds is unknown, one can get all sorts of both pleasant and unwanted results, and unintended hybrids are common.

Currently I have a batch of Primula pauciflora coming along obtained from a location on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These plants keyed to Primula pauciflora based on Jepson’s Vascular Plants of California – The University of California, Berkeley. At least I have some sort of reference point with these plants. As they progress I will report on my results. Hopefully some of this information will prove informative and useful for those wanting to grow Primula/Dodecatheon in their garden, despite our distinct climates.

Currently (Monday morning) it is foggy here in Sacramento, California. In general the temperatures have been well above average and precipitation below average. There is very little snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Snow totals at the highest elevations are about 25% of average. At lower elevations snow totals are 0 - 5% of average. This is a worrisome trend at this point in the precipitation season. Snow generally accumulates quickly from 1 December to 1 April in the Sierra Nevada.

There are few plants blooming in our garden at this time, however many of the Narcissus romieuxii types and hybrids have large visible flower buds. Generally they start blooming around 1 January. With all the warm weather they may begin blooming much earlier this year. I will report the outcome.

Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

 


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal