Image of the day - 2015

Submitted by Lori S. on

Lupinus lepidus var. utahensis... not a current photo, needless to say ;-) :

So, again I ask, what's the secret to getting these through more than a year or two of existence?  Any breakthroughs yet?


Submitted by Lori S. on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 19:05

*Sound of crickets chirping...*

Okay, here's another one!  Androsace chamaejasme, mid-July, 2200m elevation:

Submitted by penstemon on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:22

I think lupines are not very long-lived in general. Sowing the seed in situ helps to prolong their lives, but not by much. I once had a vigorous colony of L. argenteus, the plants were seeding all over, and I began to feel very smug, at which point all of them died. 

The little ones, like L. lepidus and L. caespitosus, hate to be transplanted. They hate it so much that they will pretend to have survived, which makes it even worse. 

Submitted by mkyoung on Sat, 02/28/2015 - 08:55

I've had the same results that Bob describes with L. argenteus and L. sericeus. They live just long enough to make you think you have them figured out, and then they don't.

I've had some welcome dumb luck with Lupinus argenteus, surprisingly, I guess.  I bought a plant from a native plant vendor here in 2003 and have had it since.  I found it very interesting to find that it spreads rhizomatously by bright yellow, ropy roots!  New plants pop up from these a couple of feet away from the parent.  That said, it's never been rambunctiously invasive.

Here it is in 2004 and in 2013.  


It has also sent a root or two out under the fence, where it's produced both the normal violet-flowered plants and a rather nice, pink-flowered one, out along the sidewalk (below):

On the other hand, maybe this means it's about to disappear...

What amazingly sharp eyes you must have!   What species do you think are involved in it?

I haven't grown the seeds myself but I have given them to a friend who told me he had successful germination.

Thanks to recent very warm temperatures, Colchicum bulbocodium (Bulbocodium vernum) started blooming on March 11, almost a month earlier than last year, and a few days earlier than the earliest of recent years.  (It looks like 2005 is still the record-holder with it blooming on March 5.)   This is not yet "spring", by the way - just a teaser.  We'll have another foot of snow before winter gives up, if history can be counted on.

I went out to look at them yesterday and found 7 honeybees tussling over them.  These are probably the only flowers within several miles.  How on earth do they find them?


[quote=Lori S.]

What amazingly sharp eyes you must have!   What species do you think are involved in it?

I haven't grown the seeds myself but I have given them to a friend who told me he had successful germination.




Well, my eyes were keener 10 years ago but even then I wouldn't have any idea regarding possible parents! I just struck me when I googled the name that it could be a hybrid because they looked a bit different to me. I am probably wrong of course!


Nice Bulbocodiums, I have no luck with them here. Haven't seen any honeybees either but lots of bumblebees. 

Submitted by Hatchett on Sun, 03/22/2015 - 13:22

Lupinus lepidus, this plant is several years old. i keep things very dry in this garden. I should add that i never let them set seed if i can help it. If you let this plant set seed you will never be able to get rid of it.

Submitted by RickR on Thu, 04/16/2015 - 19:29

Look what a better  pocket camera can do when there is enough light.

Dirca palustris (Atlantic Leatherwood) blooms very early, before the leaves emerge.


What an early shrub!

In the midst of an amazingly early, warm and dry spring, here's today:


Well, thankfully, the sun is out and it's melting.  (I cropped the second photo - the absence of the green ash that we lost in the early September snowfall last year allows a jarring view of the houses down the street.)


Is this normal in your part of the world Lori? Here we have gone from a virtually rain free April with the Primulas in the greenhouse feeling that Summer was in to May and today was the first rain-free day of the month with much lower temperatures.

Yes, I'm afraid it is pretty normal... actually, more normal is a week of snowy, sub-zero misery in April, May (or even, god forbid, June), so we've gotten off very lightly this year.  We could use your rain though, if you wouldn't mind sending it this way.  :-)

Submitted by RickR on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 21:44

I am always amazed at how early growth begins for you, Lori, yet I catch up and pass you as spring progresses.  A snow like that in May here is pretty uncommon, but not unheard of.  Gardeners here would be pulling their hair out in disbelief and "horror".

Submitted by Hatchett on Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:02

Unfortunatly, i am seeing a lot less in one of my gardens as i am in the process of moving it to a different location out back. i am afraid i will likely loose many of the Trilliums and native Orchids but that is the way it goes i guess. As soon as the gardeners are gone this afternoon i will see if i can get some pictures of what is in bloom in the rock garden before the thunderstorms hit.