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Dichelostemma ida-maia

 
Common name firecracker flower
Family themidaceae
Life cycle perennial bulb (Z5-8)
Flowers red (spring-early summer)
Size 12-24"
Light sun
Cultural notes needs moisture in spring, dry in summer

Native to northern California and Oregon. I had purchased some corms for this plant a few years ago by mail order, but never saw any plants, let alone flowers. Another attempt, by seed, yielded seedlings, but I didn't get them through a full season. So I'm trying by seed once again this year; hopefully I'll see the bright red flowers one of these years. The secret to keeping them alive appears to be maintaining dry conditions in the summer after they flower and go dormant. The foliage dies down before flowering, which may make it difficult to grow seedlings on (no sign of life for most of the growing season!).

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from NARGS '08/'09 exchange, cold-stored through summer. Baggy70F (3w) - 35F (8w; 70%G, 4-6w) - 70F (2w; no further G)
  2. Seed from NARGS '13/'14 exchange. Baggy 70F (3w) - 35F (50%G, 5-7w) - 70F (40%G, 3-7d)

Not sure if the initial warm stage is necessary, but since it works, I'll keep it in my germination procedures.


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Last modified: June 14, 2014
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