Olympic Mountain bulbs

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McGregorUS
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Olympic Mountain bulbs

The Olympics are one of the most spectacular mountain groups with a phenomenal range of plants - these are pics of three of the bulbs.

Lilium columbianum is common in the Pacific North West ( and it gets as far as CA, ID and MT) but that doesn't make it any the less pretty.

Erythronium montanum is another Pacific North West speciality (just OR, WA and BC)

Both of these like the grassy slopes but the last likes quite a different habitat. Allium crenulatum (the Olympic onion) is very much confined within OR, WA and BC and obviously manages in a niche of shifting shale that other plants fail to cope with.

In the garden I find most Alliums to be a nuisance but this is made so attractive by the framing of the bare shale.

Boland
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One of these days I have to get there....I've only been to the Rockies (Alberta to Colorado) so there is so much of the west yet to see.

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

McGregorUS
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It's great because it's so varied - - cold rainforest on the Pacific Coast and lavender farming on the eastern side in the rain-shadow. And it's great for the visitor - very contained so distances are much less than in the Rockies. I'll post some more pictures (in Alpine Travels) of some other things I saw.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

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

McGregor wrote:

Both of these like the grassy slopes but the last likes quite a different habitat. Allium crenulatum (the Olympic onion) is very much confined within OR, WA and BC and obviously manages in a niche of shifting shale that other plants fail to cope with.

In the garden I find most Alliums to be a nuisance but this is made so attractive by the framing of the bare shale.

Allium crenulatum is an excellent Allium, here are three photos of the form called Allium crenulatum 'Olympic Sunset', a really fine deep pink form and good falcate leaves in good condition when the plant is flowering.  The flowers last for weeks.

Malcolm, you've probably been "put off" Alliums because of the relatively few that self seed or spread with abandon, such as A. ursinum in the UK, thus the bias.  I can assure you there are hundreds upon hundreds of desirable species that challenge even the more ardent of allium admirers.  The terrible nuisance plant species in my garden are not alliums, the two most invasive horrors (as pretty as they be) are Campanulas, namely Campanula punctata and Campanula takesimana >:( 

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

Kelaidis
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Love that crenulatum: I demand a book by the Onion man!

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.

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

I have no problem with self-sowing onions or other bulbs (I wish some of them did!). Slugs eat a lot of my plants (the dearer the better food) and the wet climate makes many bulbous plants difficult to grow. My weed is Meconopsis cambrica. I would love to grow more bulbs!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Boland
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Only pesky nuisance allium for me is cyathophorum var. farreri...to bad so many mis-ID'ed NARGS alliums end up as this!  That is how I ended up with so many.  Four attempts at narcissiflorum from seed until I got the real thing...the first 3 orders ended up cyathophorum!

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

McGregorUS
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Quote:

Malcolm, you've probably been "put off" Alliums because of the relatively few that self seed ro spread with abandon, such as A. ursinum in the UK, thus the bias.  I can assure you there are hundreds upon hundreds of desirable species that challenge even the more ardent of allium admirers.  The terrible nuisance plant species in my garden are not alliums, the two most invasive horrors (as pretty as they be) are Campanulas, namely Campanula punctata and Campanula takesimana 

You're certainly right with this in both respects. I've got one Allium that has got compoletely out of control - small purple flowers makes very small bulbs with netted mats of roots so that you can pull oput masses and still not eradicate it - is this A. cyathophorum? Allium ursinum we use in salads so that's OK - and I sympathise with the campanulas - they can be a nightmare but others are just so desirable.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

ClifflineGardens
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Allium farreri is weedy in some gardens? I'm trying to grow it in window boxes. It's still pretty though, right? I like robust plants that take over. In Illinois, gardening is more like a fist fight than a hobby. Clay, rocks, drought, deer, heat, humidity...and then a hard winter.

Will A. farreri resist squirrels? I have awful squirrel problems, just ask my murdered Allium insubricum.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

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

The ubiquitous Allium cyathophorum var. farreri has not been much of a pest in the gardens I've grown it in.  It was my very first "ornamental onion" that I bought from a local nursery when I was a teenager.  I've been growing this in my current garden for 25 years, and it really does not seed around much, there are many other alliums that seed about much more freely.  I suppose if conditions are just right, then maybe this could become a nuisance, but I've seen no evidence of worrisome weediness here.  It should be noted that this species is variable, and some forms seem more vigorous than others.

For best appearance, this species does not enjoy being hot and scorched, does best with some open shade and grown in good rich soil with adequate moisture, in hard rock garden situations it will look impoverished and sad.

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

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