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Author Topic: Crocus July 2018  (Read 906 times)

fermi de Sousa

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Crocus July 2018
« on: July 05, 2018, 01:10:35 PM »
Our first offering for July is only 2/3s of a crocus - just 4 petals!
It's one of the crocus raised from seed from NZAGS Seedex 2008 - I think last year a second corm produced a later flower more typical of Crocus rujanensis but this earlier flowering one is even more bizarre this year!
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 10:03:39 AM »
I returned to my crocuses after almost full week long absence. Here I'm showing some pictures before I left home for our grand Song and Dance Festival (UNESCO World Heritage - you can see fast version of Dance concerto here     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROhNDdTM-64  ). I was too busy with all preparings, despatching of very last orders, that hadn't time to download pictures.
As you may be remember - last month I wrote about small sizes of crocus corms this season. One of the last pots harvested before leaving home was this Crocus suworovianus. I never before saw so large corms of this species - diameter up to 30+ mm (gridlines on picture 5 mm). New shoots already started to appear, too.
But harvesting goes in its way. The first bed already finished, plantings registered and pots covered with stone chips and started next bed - still not registered and for better seeing of labels, still not covered with stone chips.

Full version with music of Dance Festival (18 000+ dancers in last final dance together) you can watch here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Erg-4FRjY
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 05:09:56 PM by Janis Ruksans »
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 11:33:20 AM »
Today I harvested Crocus gembosii and its hybrids. Excellent crop regarding size of most of corms - pity, almost no splitting, so selected clones remained of last years size - from only 1 corm up to 30+. Now I'm harvesting C. chrysanthus s.l. stocks. Last year I finally rebuilt corm size of mine selection 'Goldmine' with semi-double flowers - and after long interruption again saw some semi-double flowers. Hoped more for next year, but - all corms split in two and are too small for forming of semi double flowers. They were planted too shallowly. Now I'm carefully looking for corms would be placed at least 10 cm deep in my 20 cm deep pots.

I'm still living into impressions of our choir concerto. For you can get minor impression how it looks and what we are feeling - I'm attaching here link, where you can see only one song (twice on screen you will see me, too - between singers). The name of song is "Broken Pines" and its is about our fight for freedom:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYhymdd7Pl8
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 11:35:05 AM by Janis Ruksans »
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Maggi Young

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 11:57:28 AM »
Janis, I  have seldom been so moved  - the  massed choir is  magnificent. Something for you all to be so proud of, throughout Latvia.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."

Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 11:30:52 AM »
Thank you, Maggi! I'm still singing in my mind in every free minute, so exciting it was!

Returning to crocuses - today I finished repotting of Crocus chrysanthus samples. From many were collected tunics and basal rings and I noted how different they are in different populations - from very hard, woody, to extremely thin, papery or even silky; with basal rings almost absent to well developed with smooth edge or distinctly toothed. So much to do in future! Few pots were marked with red stick - to give great attention next spring and to collect for herbarium.
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 12:56:14 PM »
Outside is heavy rain and I can't reach my greenhouse after lunch. So few pictures from today. Today were repotted some autumn bloomers - Crocus haussknechtii, damascenus, dispathaceus. Crocuses never will stop surprise me. This season that was size of corms. Shortly ago I wrote that I never before had so tiny corms of C. veluchensis, but now I can tell that I never before saw so huge corms - this is autumn blooming Crocus haussknechtii from W of Iran - diameter of corms reached 40-45 mm (gridlines on photo 5 mm).
Not great surprise that local people use Crocus corms for food and they are sold on markets in huge amounts but during ;las trip to Iran I even observed this by my eyes (not the process, but what left after lunch of locals. Mountain side was full of holes where Crocus damascenus was dug out, and on roadside left shells and still few corms. By the way, I picked them up and few turned undamaged and today were potted. See on the last picture.
But not only crocuses can bring surprises. Here two other autumn bloomers - they suppose that autumn already came - Prospero autumnalis - sample from Crimea, Ukraine (at present occupied by Russia) and another Colchicum paschei from Central Turkey, Nemrutdag Mount in Malatya Province (blooms already quite long, only today accidentally noted its flowers, the first flowers already wilted).
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 01:05:00 PM by Janis Ruksans »
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2018, 01:30:01 PM »
Yesterday I finished repotting of Central Asian crocuses - alatavicus, michelsonii and korolkowii. Corms look very good, although smaller than usually are. Lost were only around half of cultivar 'Apricot'.  A year ago I lost many selections from this group and several were lost forever. Seem that reason was Fusarium, but from where it came? Every year my crocuses are repotted in fresh soil and in new pots, but season 2016/17 was catastrophic for several of korolkowii and some alatavicus.
I suppose that infection came from corms bought in Holland. Last year 'Apricot' was lost completely, I got replacement, and even those were very poor this year. Similar situation was with cultivar 'Albus' from Varzob valley, but it this year looked much better. Some years ago I lost my cultivar 'Lucky Number' from rodents and I asked for some corms Dutch grower to whom I presented half of my stock many years ago. I got 10 horribly looking corms, but during 3 seasons they recovered and now again I have this nice cultivar of C. korolkowii. When I visited the Dutch grower of this and some other crocuses, I was really shocked for bad quality of plantings - they all looked ill and I suppose that only huge amounts of fungicides allows to get some crop. But fungicides only are stopping infection, but not makes plants healthy. It stay in corms and only waits for favourable conditions. So now I decided - nothing more from Holland! For mass production by machines you are paying with quality. Now grower is separated from seller - and you pay for this loosing quality. How nice were bulbs, corms in my youth when each grower was selling own plants and he well knew that bad quality can ruin his business. But I think that will come days when all will turn back... But now left only small nurseries, small growers to whom you can trust...
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 01:33:16 PM by Janis Ruksans »
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 05:01:57 AM »
Crocuses continue surprise me. Very small corms were formed by Crocus heuffelianus and in same time closely related C. scepusinensis formed nice, good size and quality corms. Both were placed in greenhouse side by side. In nature both grow in similar conditions. Why so great differences?
Even some spring crocuses (Crocus sieberi from Crete) started showing small shoots. Tomorrow hope to finish repotting of spring crocuses and will return to autumn bloomers. Temperature here still is extremely hot. Even in nights it remain over +20 C, but in days it is around +30 C. Fortunately we have pool in our property and each 2 hours I'm going to swim for some cooling down.
Yesterday we had the first Open Door Day for Phlox. We had a lot of visitors although it was only briefly mentioned in Facebook. Phlox blooming is unusually early this year. All the day we all worked with visitors. Coming Sunday will be main day. Some of seedlings raised by my wife are incredibly nice - huge size, excellent form of flower spikes regardless of too dry and hot weather.
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2018, 07:31:06 PM »
Here still is enormous hot. Every day temperature in afternoon reaches +30 C but this weekend even + 34 C is offered. Today was some minor clouds allowing easier working. Yesterday I finished repotting of spring bloomers. Very small corms were formed by Crocus heuffelianus but closely allied C. scepusinensis grew perfectly. Another which disappointed me was C. kosanini, but with this one I never was very successful. Is it some my fault or this species don't like my conditions - I don't know, but I never got good blooming size corms of it.
Today I started and almost finished (harvested all, but not all were already re-potted) large group of Crocus speciosus relatives and I started from East - with Iranian Crocus zubovii. In general crocuses of this group grew very well, corms in some could be larger, but all looks very healthy and shiny. Here I pictured corms of one still unidentified (may be new) crocus from Iran (16IRS-069), growing midway between C. archibaldiorum and C. zubovii at altitude 2300 m on open meadow and it was very stoloniferous. Here it formed incredibly large number of cormlets at base of mother corm and several at ends of stolones.
Surprised C. ilgazensis having already long shoots. Really it is the earliest bloomer from C. speciosus alliance. But so early forming of shoots?
Schocked size of Crocus xantholaimos corms. The largest reached 30 mm in diameter, and in same time C. bolensis and C. hellenicus formed very small corms. Corms of hellenicus were smaller in size than planted, although corms looked very healthy.
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 06:50:36 AM »
This morning I harvested Crocus pulchellus. Huge corms formed samples from Chios Island, Turkish samples were significantly smaller, but the smallest corms formed samples from Bulgaria. Enormously good were hybrid between C. ilgazensis and pulchellus named by me as 'Fantasy' - there corms were up to 27 mm in diameter. Never before had so good crop of it.
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 01:56:52 PM »
Yesterday I started with crocuses from Israel, Syria and Jordan. They grew so well as never before. I never got so huge corms of Crocus ochroleucus, but they formed no one cormlet (forms got from Oron Peri and collected by myself in Israel). Single exception was ochroleucus got from Potterton & Martin - there were many cormlets and main bulbs were smaller, too.
Then followed species from kotschyanus group. Again I was surprised for the long shoots formed by C. cappadocicus - you can see those on attached picture - gridlines 5 mm). But in general cappadocicus and hakkariensis (especially the last) didn't grew very well - there were quite great percentage of died, mummified corms.
Absolutely shocking was corm size of Crocus kotschyanus. I'm using pots of size 15x15 cm and it was impossible to place in such pot 9 corms! So huge they were! Unfortunately I forgot recharge battery and it was impossible to picture them. Typical kotschyanus grew perfectly. I have around 10 different stocks of them from Turkey and from Syria. The largest were just those from near Hatay and from Syria. More northern populations formed smaller corms.
Next were Crocus pallasii group - starting with Crimean, type pallasii, then following with Greek populations and plants from Greek Islands. And as always there were schockingly great losses... New formed corms simply died. Why? I can't understand. There were few where mother corm had two shoots, so formed two replacement corms - both large, well formed and - one of them absolutely perfect, another dried out. In some pots more than half of new corms mummified. Dry rot form of Fusarium? But from where it could come? All crocuses every year are repotted in new, earlier unused pots. Expensive way, but I'm so afraid against Rhyzoglyphus, that keeping of collection is more important than money. Substrate completely replaced every year with soilless mix made from  coarse sand and peat moss - both sterile. And same in seedling pots and even in pot  where I planted 16 corms last spring collected on Samos and potted immediately after returning, 2 were mummified. If I would not hand-pollinate all my pallasii stocks every autumn and sawing seeds of those I think that after few years I would not have more species from this group. Only exception was with Tiurkish dispathaceus, haussknechtii from Iran and so named pallasii from Israel - there were few losses, but minimal, not more than in average.
Crocus goulimyi grew well, although corms were smaller than should be and there were no splitting, but no losses, too. All looked perfect, shiny, clean, only sometimes even smaller than planted.
Last autumn I collected few C. goulimyi at very South end of Mani peninsula. To keep them living I brought them to home packed inside native soil ball - squeezed around corms wet (there were heavy rains during our trip), native dark red clay. Collected corms benefit from this and I harvested nice crop. But I used occasion having their native soil for checking of the pH.  Up to last I used very expensive (around 100,- Euro) tool from Holland, but recently, when I maid current soil mix and checked its pH, it showed 5.0. I was shocked and added to my standard portion of mix additional 40 kg of chalk. Next day checked again - but still were 5.0. Something was wrong and I went to laboratory - there pH was 7.1. I immediately bought special indicator liquid - in home it showed same ~7.0 for my mix, but I decided to check what is pH of C. goulimyi native ground - it was around 7.5.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 07:48:33 PM by Janis Ruksans »
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Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 08:20:37 PM »
The last day of July. For me it was short relating plants. Outside was 34 C, almost impossible to work, but I was going to buy new pots - just got call from my supplier that new party of Poppelman pots from Germany came - 15x15x20 cm. I just became short with them. By the way I visited TV Studio where was recorded some short talk of me about history of our freedom fighting 30 years ago.
But in early morning hours I finished repotting of current Crocus bed - there were C. tournefortii, hadriaticus, thomasii, oreocreticus, but I started with Cretan pumilus. Crop of those were more or less good. Some losses between hadriaticus and again mostly between stocks bought from other growers in West. From mine own gatherings I was mostly disappointed with so named C. hadriaticus form from near vil. Papigo near Vikos Canyon in NW Greece. It is most beautiful, comparatively dwarf form, but the worth grower from all hadriaticus. I even suppose that it could be different taxon, but for this is needed further research and comparing. May be this autumn I will revisit locality and surroundings.
Greatest part of crocuses are repotted - left around 15%. Hope to finish at start of the next week. In general left only autumn crocuses, but always appear some mis-placed and earlier unnoticed spring blooming stocks. Today such was my cultivar 'Yalta'. It is very famous crocus seedling got from C. tommasinianus seeds, which I collected during visit to Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Yalta. I donated some 20 corms to Dutch bulbgrower Jan Pennings and he is growing it on few acres and it became most popular and widespread of crocuses raised by me. But I hate its name! Why? The Yalta for all people of Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) associates with Yalta conference where Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt at end of 2nd World War sold Baltic states to "Papa Jo" - Joseph Stalin.  My usual custom was to name cultivars after locality from where they came - so there was given name 'Yalta'. Under such name it is registered and known and I can't more to change its name. At that time I didn't associated it with Yalta Conference (it was during deep Soviet Years when different history was teached in schools).

I want to give you possibility to watch one more fragment from our XXVI national Choir Festival (the first was in 1873). It is fragment from cantata written by Latvian composer Lucia Garuta "God, Your Land is on Fire". It was written in 1944, and the first concerto was in church of St. Gertrude in Riga few days before Soviet Army reoccupied Riga, naming it as "liberation". The church was full and people staying on street. Singed choir of most famous Latvian Singers. Riga was bombed by soviet army, old Riga was in flame. Just after concerto singers runned to the last ship for refugees leaving Riga. The main theme is question to God - why you left us in hands of Eastern barbarians? What we did so bad, that you left us? If you will open link you will hear dramatical music of organ followed by choir who sings " Paternoster ". When I'm singing it and hearing this music I can't stop tears in my eyes, and you will see close-ups of many singers with tears on face (my close-up is at very end - when sounds "Amen". You can watch and hear this small fragment of cantata, which we singed during Festival, following link:

https://replay.lsm.lv/lv/ieraksts/ltv/134940/starpspele-un-lugsana-musu-tevs-no-kantates-dievs-tava-zeme-deg-1943-dziesmu-svetki
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 03:49:00 AM by Janis Ruksans »
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Sally

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2018, 11:06:13 PM »
Thank you for sharing the wonderful Choir Festival fragments; how inspiring to see a country united in song and patriotism.

Sally

Janis Ruksans

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Re: Crocus July 2018
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2018, 08:07:09 PM »
Thank you for sharing the wonderful Choir Festival fragments; how inspiring to see a country united in song and patriotism.

Sally
Thanks, Sally! I'm happy that you watched and enjoyed our Festival. It happens every fourth year, but in middle (it will be after 2 years) is similar Festival for school youth. Most important that all those singers are voluntary and there are great competition between choirs to be included. In  our municipality are two choirs and another never before reached level required for Festival. This year they asked our choir to accept them in our - to be included. My choir is eldest in Latvia - this year we are celebrating 155 anniversary and we have very good conductor. So we accepted them and they took part in Festival. For me it was the second Festival where I was between singers. And now I hope to take part in next one. Actually it is not easy. Rehearsal on Friday was 13 hours long, but concerto 4.5 hours long. Not easy to stay so long... But it is great honour and has nothing common with Hitlers mass-psychosis as it was commented by someone on Facebook.
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