Onosma and Lindelofia

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Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-03

All those links to Onosma are enough to drive me crazy: especially that icy blue Onosma nanum: OH to get my hand on that. There is a red one in Turkey too...uggggh.

I have grown a half dozen, maybe a dozen yellow species over the years (echioides, stellulatum, helveticum, etc. etc.) and I confess, many look much alike, and I have no doubt they have all hybridized: at one point the Rock Alpine Garden was overrun with these, and with Pulsatilla vulgaris, Alyssum montanum, Allium flavum and a half dozen other vigorous self sowers: under current management (Mike Kintgen) all these have been restrained in order to showcase choicer plants...

But the ribald madness maintains itself at my house where I have what are probably now hopelessly hybridized Onosmas all over the place: they are thriving in cracks in the concrete, in a low stone wallk, in my unwatered xeriscape...everywhere I neglect to pull them out (which is everywhere). They bloom forever and the only bad thing about them is cutting them back (ouch! worse than cacti!)...but do I have a single picture to prove all this? In your best John Belushi voice repeat: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"

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.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Onosma paniculatum sounds like an interesting one, with blue- purple flowers, becoming dark red!  

I got seeds from Pavelka, and have had good germination.  His description: " 3400m, Zhongdian Mts., China; tufted plant, linear leaves,erect scapes 20-40cm,many blue-violet flowers, stoney slopes, shrubberies."

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200019166

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

From NARGS Seedex several years back, labeled Onosma nana, came a rather tall Onosma species, about 30-40 cm, very bristly foliage, and large and lovely luminous pale yellow flowers.  Showy, but definitely not O. nana, the true species supposed to have white flowers tinged pink or blue, and red stems and calyxes, and of course, short stems.

The second is an Onosma species from Turkey.  The silver leaves are not bristly, stems tend to be decumbent, to about 20-25 cm tall, narrower bright yellow flowers.  This was from a known location in Turkey, although the lable has disappeared

I'm working on trying to identify these serviceable, hardy "borags".

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Searching http://www.ipni.org/ipni/plantnamesearchpage.do and inputting "Onosma" and "*" for the species name, comes up with 438 names!  Onosma is a big genus, with most of those having yellow flowers.

The name 'Golden Drop' seems to be a common name for yellow Onosma species in general.  Reginald Farrer writes about O. tauricum "Our well-beloved favourite old Onosma, the one and only Golden Drop of the garden", and goes on to say "gracious croziers of hanging ample flowers of a waxy and lemony lusciousness peculiar to themselves, and exactly asking for the name of Golden Drop in their melting confectionery clarity of colour and texture" . (he sure could pile it on  :D )  It is likely that my plant is one of the commonly grown Onosma species; echioides, stellulata, helveticum, tauricum, or others.  I need to take a closer look at each of these species descriptions to see if I can find a match.  The foliage on helveticum is described as bristly, so at least that aspect matches, but many Onosma are bristly.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I found a photo link to the "Pyrenaean Golden Drop" (O. bubanii), a lovely Onosma with soft moonlight yellow flowers similar to my plant: http://www.lafloredespyrenees.fr/boraginacgenres/onosmabub/onos2.html

For comparison purposes, I have cropped a closeup flower crozier of my unknown "Onosma sp.", and compared side by side with two other species.  In the first, it is compared with a similarly sized crozier of Onosma stellulata (stellulatum?).  The flower shape and calyx lobe segments look similar in both, but stellulata has distinct green leaf-like bracts in the unfurling crozier, not seen in my plant. The same comparison with my "sp" and O. bubanii from a web image (flipped to face the same direction), again shows a similar looking plant, but the calyx segments look much longer against the flower in O. bubanii.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Skulski wrote:

Onosma paniculatum sounds like an interesting one, with blue- purple flowers, becoming dark red!  

I got seeds from Pavelka, and have had good germination.  His description: " 3400m, Zhongdian Mts., China; tufted plant, linear leaves,erect scapes 20-40cm,many blue-violet flowers, stoney slopes, shrubberies."

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200019166

Oh my!  Lori, that's an exciting one, keep us posted on the progress of this plant... and if it does flower one day and produce seed, please remember us Boragiphiles :)   Also, maybe Harvey Wrightman (http://www.WrightmanAlpines.com) will add this to his list one day, seems that he sells many species derived from Pavelka seed.  I notice from the plants he was selling at the NARGS Eastern Study Weekend at Devens, Massachusetts, that he has some plants in too small a quantity to put into his nursery list, yet may be available if asked.  I was able to buy Onosma araraticum (from Mt. Ararat, Turkey) which is not in his list, and at long last Paracaryum racemosum (upper right), which is on his list.  I'm excited!  I will post more about some of the NARGS ESW vendors elsewhere on this forum.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

A blue Onosma pic, O. sinicum:http://www.efloras.org/object_page.aspx?object_id=104467&flora_id=800

Onosma frutescens, nice yellow species from Parnassos & the Peloponnese, Malea Peninsulahttp://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=5063.0;attach...

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Kelaidis wrote:

All those links to Onosma are enough to drive me crazy: especially that icy blue Onosma nanum: OH to get my hand on that. There is a red one in Turkey too...uggggh.

I have grown a half dozen, maybe a dozen yellow species over the years (echioides, stellulatum, helveticum, etc. etc.) and I confess, many look much alike,

But the ribald madness maintains itself at my house where I have what are probably now hopelessly hybridized Onosmas all over the place: they are thriving in cracks in the concrete, in a low stone wallk, in my unwatered xeriscape...everywhere I neglect to pull them out (which is everywhere). They bloom forever and the only bad thing about them is cutting them back (ouch! worse than cacti!)...but do I have a single picture to prove all this? In your best John Belushi voice repeat: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"

I have yet to have a self-sown Onosma seedling appear in my garden... maybe I don't have as diverse a gene pool as you have to get such seed set.  I want to get some Onosma growing out of cracks in my driveway ;D  I found out this spring, that even my Onosma sp. from Turkey, which has silky hispid leaves and can be handled without worry during the growing season, it too releases glochid-like irritant hairs when cleaning up around the plant without gloves on!  PS: are you sure John Belushi said that, I though it was Mr. Bill ;D

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Boland
Boland's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-25

No luck with Onosma at my end...sowed seeds of two species and neither germinated...they would probably die over winter here anyway so no great loss.

Todd Boland St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada Zone 5b 1800 mm precipitation per year

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Boland wrote:

No luck with Onosma at my end...sowed seeds of two species and neither germinated...they would probably die over winter here anyway so no great loss.

Or, possibly croak in spring... above in this thread I show photos of an Omosma species from Turkey, weeks ago I cleaned up all of the blown in oak and magnolia leaf debris around the plant, now after yet another 3-day marathon of pouring rain and gale force winds, the plant looks a sorry lot now, like a drowned rat, many of the terminal rosettes no longer showing signs of life.  A couple young Helichrysum plants I had in pots looked great up until last week... now all the terminal shoots are mush.  The taller moonlight yellow Onosma planted on a sand enbankment still looks fine.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

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