Monday, June 18, 2012


Nomocharis aperta

Nomocharis Digital Painting
       Last Thursday I spent the day in horticultural heaven, aka, Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend.   After the demise of Heronswood, we here in Washington are fortunate that a nursery like this exists to satisfy our plant lust.  I will be writing future posts about some of the plants I got there, but suffice it to say, I scored some treasures, and Kelly and Sue, the owners, told us about lots more mouthwatering goodies they have in the pipeline.  Today, however, I want to focus on Nomocharis.
     Nomocharis is a lily relative from China, Tibet and Burma.  The plants that Far Reaches have are seedlings from their collections in China.  I have previously tried growing this bulb on several occasions, but was unsuccessful in getting it to return to the garden after one year.   However, a couple of years ago I bought one of Far Reaches' Nomocharis apertas which they had grown from their own collected seed, and I have had good luck with that plant. It is now blooming in my garden which means that it has survived for 3 or 4 years in the garden.  I just saw a magnificent plant of it blooming in Far Reaches' own shade garden. There it had multiple stems and multiple flowers in a clump.  The key to growing it well seems to be to plant it in good soil (at Far Reaches they use a lot of manure in their shade garden) and give it plenty of moisture.  Don't plant it in dry, root infested shade and don't plant it in deep shade.  The one in my garden is growing in what could be described as half day sun and it has done well there.
     The pictures above are both of Nomocharis aperta.  The second image is a digital painting I did in Photoshop based on one flower.  By the wonder of Photoshop I was able to create a plethora of Nomocharis, which is what I call the image. A plethora of Nomocharis is a much to be desired state.  Kind of like nirvana.
     I also got a plant of Nomocharis pardanthina at Far Reaches.  While I have not seen this one in bloom yet, the pictures of it that I find on the internet are gorgeous.  For example, see the Pacific Bulb Society's blurb on Nomocharis here.
     Nomacharis is a rare bulb and if you find one in a nursery, snap it up.  Far Reaches is the only place I know of to get it here.  It is also sometimes listed by Paul Christian Bulbs, a rare bulb dealer in the UK that will ship to the U.S.  It is not on their current list that is posted online, however.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am graduate student at Gachon University of South Korea. I am studing on Phylogeny of Liliaceae family, I try to ask some our colleagues to help me collect Gagea spathacea species, but i cannot get this sample in anyway. I ordered it from Kew bank, but they do not have it as well.

    I am writing this email to ask your help that may i have dried plant material or DNA of this species? I would be grateful if you could help me and i am pleasure to return the fund to you.

    I'm looking forward to seeing you as soon as possible.
    Yours sincerely,