Re: Alpines August 2012

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Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27
Re: Alpines August 2012

Discussion continued from the Alpines July 2012 thread, here:
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=1121.msg19011#msg19011

Oh, why do I garden Cliff! What magnificent scenery. So I must have ovina; like the sound of divina.

This plant is one I have tried growing several times unsuccessfully - Bolax gummifer. I have it now in a slightly shaded narrow scree (pure gritty sand) alongside a raised bed, where it seems to be settling down. I love the foliage and it must be one of the most attractive alpine umbels.

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

It's very nice to see Bolax gummifera, especially photographed so well, Tim.  The foliage contrast between it and Azorella trifurcata (which I actually bought as "Bolax gummifera") is quite apparent:

Does your Bolax have white/greenish flowers?

Gentiana gelida:

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Hoy wrote:

The one in the background I suppose?

That might be a bit much to garden! Though if it came with flora, I wouldn't need to  ;D

Tim, that Bolax is looking nice and tight!
Lori- cute Gentian :)

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Lori - I haven't really seen flowers properly on Bolax but they must be very similar to the greenish flowers of Azorella. If you could imagine alpine umbels with really colourful flowers suddenly everyone would be growing them!

The gentian is nice, like a yellow form of septemfida. I have a couple of old books on the genus and there are so many species you never see these days (G. kurroo is an example that always stands out because the name is around but not the plant).

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.
 

Peden
Title: Member
Joined: 2012-01-04

Tim wrote:

This plant is one I have tried growing several times unsuccessfully - Bolax gummifer.

A British colleague once sent me a tiny piece of this plant which faded away too quickly. I simply adore it and absolutely MUST grow it. Petunia patagonica is another (it lasted more than a year here). Does anyone in the U.S. grow these? Access would be very much appreciated!

Michael Peden
Lake Champlain Valley, zone 4b
Four and a half months frost free
Snow cover not guaranteed

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

Tim wrote:

Lori - I haven't really seen flowers properly on Bolax but they must be very similar to the greenish flowers of Azorella.

The reason I was asking was that I have seen flower colour cited as a distinguishing factor also between Bolax gummerifera (greenish-white flowers) and Azorella trifurcata (yellow flowers, which is very clear on my plant)- see the first comment below on the this misidentified photo (posted as Bolax gummifera but actually Azorella trifurcata):
http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2005/11/bolax_gummifera.php

Clearly, Bolax gummifera is a great deal harder to grow, of the two!

The name changes through time for both species may explain the lingering misconception that the two species names are synonymous:
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2667511
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2678931

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

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Lori - this probably shows the inherent difference between the rigorous botanical description of plants and I must admit my own observations of growing them as a gardener. In this case growth habit and form is so distinguishing that the two cannot be confused, but this must be because Bolax has been grown for years in the UK and is quite familiar. When it comes to some of the other umbellifers (notoriously difficult plants to identify at times!), the botanical characteristcs become more and more important, and probably more and more up for debate. Species of Lomatium in America certainly seem very difficult to distinguish at times (to say the least), and often location must be as important a consideration as morphological characteristics.

I am aiming to amass more detailed observations on umbels (particularly alpine species) and write about them, but like as much as possible to describe plants from my own experience as a gardener growing them as well as from the literature. The South American species like Azorella and Bolax are really nice plants and many more are being grown, so I imagine even more scope for confusion!

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.
 

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Hi folks,
One from yesterday ...
Gentian purpurea high on the French-Swiss border at Le Tours near Chamonix Mont Blanc with the French peaks in the background.  We have moved on to beautiful Lake Annecy today ... images to follow when time allows.
Kind regards to all.
Thanks Lori, Trond, Cohan and Tim for the very kind remarks.

Plus two images from the high alpine world above Chamonix.

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

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

Beautiful shots, Cliff!

Tim wrote:

Lori - this probably shows the inherent difference between the rigorous botanical description of plants and I must admit my own observations of growing them as a gardener. In this case growth habit and form is so distinguishing that the two cannot be confused...

Your excellent photo shows that very clearly.  Unfortunately, there does seem to be a lot of confusion out there, for example, this Wiki entry for Bolax gummifera which shows a photo of Azorella trifurcata:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolax
:P

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Such a beautiful place, Cliff! Must be hard to leave...
the purpurea is lovely too, especially with the view behind it :)

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

The gentian with the soft sky behind it is very beautiful. I wonder if those meadow gentians are grown much now? I never succeeded very well with lutea.

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.
 

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