I've just planted seedlings of "Bald Cicely", my name for a variety of Myrrhis odorata which is completely hairless - also an excellent spring vegetable...
This is what Gerard had to say on the matter in 1597 (Kew Gardens):
Age: Lower end of the 20-25,000 day range
Delighted to see Tim's Orlaya: one of my favorites. It has been self sowing a bit more every year and starting to make quite a show for me. Unlike many spring annuals, it hangs in there through the summer and reblooms when we get the odd shower in summer. I recall seeing something like these here and there all over Greece in April and May. It is a must have in my opinion. I keep stumblng on whole genera that seem to be twins to Orlaya from all over Eurasia. The only one I have a picture of is from Central Asia, I photographed it last September...here goes:
1) Overall shot of Orlaya grandiflora in my dry garden2) Closeup of the same3) Semenovia sp photographed near the Observatory near treeline above Almaty in Kazakhstan Tian Shan...growing with what looks like Veronica spicata, but is not, I believe.
Love them umbels!
For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.
When I first became interested in these plants I was persuaded by the Hardy Plant Society to write one of their booklets on the family. Umbellifers have always been of interest to knowledgeable gardeners in the UK (such as Graham Stuart Thomas and Alan Bloom, both of whom wrote about them). Recently though they have been grown a lot more widely, especially in more naturalistic gardens, and they must always have an appeal even to non-gardeners because they are so recognisable. Even so it is only the very few that are grown in gardens. Looking back through this thread, and with the host of amazing North American umbels which are hardly grown anywhere, I am keen to learn a lot more about them and hopefully put this together in a more comprehensive book on the family (a bit of a tall order since it is such a large family!). There are quite a few nurserypeople I know with a fascination in the family - for example Marina Christopher who used to work with John Coke at Green Farm Plants, and who values them especially for the very wide range of pollinators they attract, and Graham Gough at Marchants Nursery and John-Pierre Jolivot in France.
I would be very grateful for any information from members of the NARGS who grow umbels (there is quite bit already on this thread already which is really helpful and stimulating) or even more who have experience of seeing them in the wild. I aim to try more of the North American species from seed since these are virtually unknown in cultivation. There are also quite a few alpine species in particular that have been introduced from South America.
I think the diversity of the family would surprise many even botanically minded gardeners and the long historical uses of umbels in medicine and as foods have given them such enduring interest. It may be quite a long project but there has been very little written on the family from a gardening perspective. Many thanks in advance.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
Tim Here is one you will not see every day, Cymopterus globosus. I have only come across this little desert Spring Parsely one time, on a low, very cobbled hill in eastern Nevada. The flower heads feel like a moist, dense rubber ball when you squeeze them. I can't find a lot of information about it but it is a uniqui little guy. I hope some day to find it in seed.
From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV zone 6-7http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser
Cymopteris globosus is an amazing plant. I thought it rang a bell, and sure enough, I posted a CalPhotos link to this species and several other fantastic Cymopteris here:http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=662.msg8397#msg8397
Glad to be reminded of such unique plants as the NARGS Seedex opening approaches.
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
Some of the Cymopterus really are extraordinary! It is interesting how little they are known in comparison even with many of alpine umbels of South America and New Zealand. Mind you they must be really difficult to grow in the garden in many cases; I have always thought them very like bulbs with their early flowering habit and summer aestivation. I have tried a few of these from seed and had good germination (in some cases in the fridge!), but haven't yet managed to grow them on successfully. They must be good candidates for a sand or crevice bed. (There is a glorious example on the Alplains list - Cymopterus planosus - who would not want to grow a plant like that!!).
Two pix: the first is good old Lomatium dissectum: big, variable, easy in the garden. Here photographed on the West Elk Mts. in mid July in aspenwoods at about 8000-9000'.
The second is more problematical: Oreoxis humilis only grows on Pikes peak. I believe it is proposed for endangered species status. It is very cute and probably quite growable. Too this a few days after the last picture.
I spent the day with my girlfriend at the Stanford Mall (quite the shopping center): I cannot remember the name of the manufacturer, but there was an exquisite set of China at Bloomingdale's featuring all manner of Umbelliferae. Very appropriate to this string...
Wow, Oreoxis humilis is a beauty! Found a link from 2009 concerning endangered species status, with disappointing news. PK, hopefully you'll be collecting seed on it sometime (before it does get listed) and grow them at DBG.
USDA list 4 secies of Oreoxishttp://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=OREOX
Oreoxis humilisIn the following USDA Forest Service documents, the range is given as only Colorado.http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/oreoxishumilis.pdfhttp://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/rareplants/profiles/critically_imperile......and listed as only Colorado in this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service document entitled "Endangered Species Act Protections for 165 Petitioned Species Not Warranted":http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/pressrel/09-04.html
...curiously the UDSA Plant Profile includes New Mexico in its range, probably a mistake:http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ORHU
Oreoxis alpina (and O. bakeri):http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Yellow%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/o......O. alpina on the NARGS Wiki:http://www.nargs.org/nargswiki/tiki-browse_image.php?imageId=2960
I like the look of them. Do they go dormant in the summer months?
Here we have Lomatium nevadense var nevadense a more wild spread miniature species. Easy from seed and summer dormant.
It's good to hear that they are easy from seed. Does that mean they don't need conditioning (stratification) or would you recommend it?
I've tried Lomatium columbianum a couple of times now with no germination at room temp, or stratified in the cold room, or over the winter outdoors - very frustrating! I wonder if the seeds have limited longevity? Then again, I seem to have problems germinating Apiaceae in general... what's the trick?
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm