Hesperoxiphion peruvianum

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 07:56:00 PDT
Dear All,

Dirk has been very busy, but has given me the green light to post his 
message on this from the past so this will complete the thread I saved 
about the former discussion of this. It's such an interesting post as were 
the others that I am pleased to share it. Now Lyn will have two Australian 
experiences along with the one from Switzerland. Mine were beautiful, but 
short bloomed, but I think that is because I did not dead head them and 
they need more heat. So I hope the ones in my greenhouse will bloom this 
fall when it gets warmer and I will pinch the flowers off faithfully.

Mary Sue

Where we have had fog at least part or most of the day since Sunday.

 From April 1999 so this one seems like a quick one from seed:

Dear Peter,
                     I also flowered Hesperoxiphium peruvianum last year, for
the first time, and was just as impressed with their poise and elegance. And
what a good grower to boot! Seed was received from Maurice Boussard in 1997
and, following excellent germination and growth, many of them flowered last
year. They vary in shades of orange, and intensity of the nectar guides,
with some being much more luminous than others. Apparently there is also a
yellow form, does anyone grow this one? Clive Innes 'World of Iridaceae'
states there are 3 ssp of Cypella peruviana, the first of which is
synonymous with Hesperoxiphium peruvianum and it comes from Bolivia to Peru
at 2500m. C.peruviana ssp. communis colours range from yellowish-brown to
yellowish-orange, orange or yellow and it is from central Peru(Ayacucho-
Cuzco at altitudes of about 3500m).The second ssp., C.p.ssp. herrerae is now
Hesperoxiphium herrerae. The third is ssp. soratensis which has yellowish or
whitish-brown , somewhat spotted, flowers and it comes from Bolivia(soratam-
La Paz, at 2800m). The type has been transferred to Hesperoxiphium but the
ssp.(communis and soratensis) appear to have been overlooked.
Seed were sown in a number of mediums and none proved ultimately better than
the others. Straight sand worked well but moisture availability during their
growing season was a little tricky and they tended to go to the bottom of
the pots and send their roots out the drainage holes, which is fine if you
don't move the pots! A medium of sand and decomposed bark(at least 50% sand)
was very effective for growth, flowering and seed set and is probably a good
all round soil. I'm trying them in the ground this year in a raised bed
consisting of a clay base with equal parts of sand and decomposed bark on
top. I'll let you know how they develop.
A dry winter also appears to be necessary as I have lost a couple of bulbs
that stayed too wet and cold over their dormant period. They may do ok in
the ground with good drainage and other plants to take up the moisture but I
haven't risked them, yet.
The other side of the coin in winter growers is Moraea neopavonia.
Superficially like Hesperoxiphium, in colour and form, it is a joy to have
flowering during the cold winter months, only to be followed by H.peruvianum
during summer. Let's talk orange delight!


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