Nomocharis and Notholirion

Submitted by Gene Mirro on

Nomocharis farreri (I think):

Nomocharis aperta (I think):


Submitted by bulborum on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:56

Very nice pictures Geen


Submitted by RickR on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:38

I finally have some nomocharis seed sprouting this year after a few unsuccessful attempts, even at just obtaining germination(!).  Sure hope they look as nice as yours someday, Gene.

Submitted by Lori S. on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 21:38

Wow, just amazing, Gene!

Submitted by bulborum on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 22:32

Can you tell what type of soil you grow them in


Submitted by Hoy on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 02:47

Bravo Gene!
I have tried Nomocharis several times but they disappear. I think the slugs are to be blamed :(

Submitted by Gene Mirro on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:40

bulborum wrote:

Can you tell what type of soil you grow them in


I grow everything in raised beds of sandy loam soil.  My native soil is heavy clay loam, which I amend by adding a lot of coarse sand and tilling it in.  But I believe the key factor is that my cool summer climate is not much different from the Himalaya, where Nomocharis are native.  The climate here in summer is cool, even for the Pacific Northwest.  And the last couple of summers have been quite wet.  The Nomocharis are growing where they get a little shade in midday.  I don't know if that is necessary for them.

Some notes on growing them can be found here:

Submitted by Tony Willis on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:54


beautiful plants. Here are two of my nomocharis both from Chen-yi. The first L-51 came as N. forrestii but the general opinion is it is N. aperta. This produced a lot of seed last year which has germinated very well.

The second L-153 is supposed to be N. mealagrina. They all seem very mixed up.

Submitted by Cockcroft on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 20:45

Grown from seed from the Alpine Garden Club of British Columbia.

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 09:50

Beautiful, Claire and Tony!  What extraordinary flowers.  What hoops does one have to jump through to get germination of seeds?  

Submitted by Tim Ingram on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 10:00

In Scotland they probably grow like weeds! In the south they are as rare as hen's teeth. Nomocharis really are the most beautiful of plants and I am very envious of Gene and Tony. From my memory though they germinate readily from seed. Another lovely thing is Notholirion - does anyone grow that?

Submitted by Cockcroft on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 10:37

I've been growing notholirion for a number of years, both N. bulbiferum and N. campanulatum.  They come readily from seed and bloom every year (once they reach blooming size).  I have a nice stalk budded up and will post a picture when the flowers open.  In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures from other years.

Submitted by Hoy on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 10:49

Nomocharis and Notholirion are difficult to grow here although the climate should suit them. However the climate suite slugs and snails too :-\
I have had several attempts to grow these beauties - in wain.
Have one Nomocharis now which I have managed to save from slug attack so far . . .

Submitted by Gene Mirro on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 12:19

Lori wrote:

Beautiful, Claire and Tony!  What extraordinary flowers.  What hoops does one have to jump through to get germination of seeds?  

The seeds supposedly germinate at normal room temperature.  But I've found that most of the Nomocharis seed offered in the exchanges is dead.  Also, many of the seeds won't germinate until they have had several months at winter temperature, which for me is 0 - 5C (32 - 40F).  The other problem with Lilium and Nomocharis is that the plants can't stand high soil temperatures.  So you can't leave them in the pots in a warm greenhouse, or you will have nearly 100% losses.   I plant them in the open ground in late Spring, and mulch with wood chips to keep the soil cool.  I place an inverted 17 inch flat over the seedlings to protect against birds, and bait for slugs.  Mice, voles, and gophers will destroy the bulbs, so you must take precautions.  If you try to speed these plants up with a lot of fertilizer and sun, you will lose many of them.  But they do need light fertilization, or it will take forever for them to bloom.  It takes me 3 to 4 years to get the first blooms.  These seedlings do very well if you germinate them in the Fall and grow them under lights in a cool (60F) location over the winter.

If you grow lilies and Nomocharis over the winter, you may find that some of them will keep growing as long as conditions are good, but some of them will grow for a few months and then go dormant.  If you keep the dormant bulbs in warm, moist soil, they may rot.  So I place the pot in a sealed plastic bag, and place in the fridge (not the freezer) for 3 or 4 months.  Then they are ready to grow again.

Submitted by Cockcroft on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:59

Finally, flowers on Notholirion campanulatum have opened.  Here's a picture.

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 21:43


Submitted by Gene Mirro on Tue, 10/30/2012 - 22:02

Notholirion bulbuliferum, blooming 6/19/12:

[attachthumb = 1]

From NARGS seed, received 1/09.  The plants died after blooming.  They produced a small number of bulb offsets, but tons of seed.

Submitted by bulborum on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 02:04

Looks amazing

my plant died after flowering
no bulblets or bulb left over
is this normal in Notholirion bulbuliferum ??


Submitted by AmyO on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 06:33

Such gorgeous plants! I'll be looking for seed when the seed-ex list comes out. Unless someone has enough to share now..... ;)

Submitted by Gene Mirro on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 14:29

Notholirion is monocarpic.  Nomocharis is perennial.  People often lose Nomocharis after one bloom season, but that's because the plants aren't happy with their growing conditions.

Submitted by RickR on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 19:59

That certainly is a glorious bloom worth waiting for.  How long did you wait, and are all those spikes coming from one bulb?

Submitted by Gene Mirro on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 23:54

The Notholirion took about three years from seed to bloom.  There were several bulbs in the clump, with one flowering stalk per bulb.  Seed set was very heavy.  Maybe that's why I didn't get many bulb offsets.  These plants can go dry in summer, but if you want to speed them along, keep them fed and watered all summer long.  I would not be at all surprised if these were found to be related to our Camassia.  Except that the Camassia is a true perennial.