Lycoris frustration

James Waddick
Wed, 04 Aug 2004 06:23:42 PDT
Dear Friends;
	Lycoris season is at peak here in Kansas City. Dozens-maybe 
hundreds of blooms.

	Always a few standouts, but it is getting frustrating. Let me explain.

	A few years ago a Chinese friend offered me some low price 
Lycoris chinensis, longituba and sprengeri, the 3 most common. When 
they arrived they did not look right and I ended up planting a group 
of 25 each. The sprengeri are mostly as named and they looked the 
best, but they also have the more distinct bulb shape. The longituba 
and chinensis are easier to mix up as bulbs and they proved to be a 
range of colors and forms from 'typical chinensis' to 'typical 
longituba'. This means flowers run the gamut from nearly bright 
orange to golden to pure white. L. longituba flavum shades are 
included and I suspect that many are hybrids of the two species. 
Clearly not suited for sale as either species without growing on, 
sorting and keeping isolated.

	This year one bulb, blooming for the first time is an amazing 
beauty. Pure bright canary yellow without the dull buff seen in most 
hybrids or the golden/pink tinge leaning toward pure chinensis. Large 
flat petals suggest L.longituba parentage, but at 3 ft tall with 7 
5-inch wide flowers it is a knock out. This is the first Lycoris I 
have seen that is a pure yellow color, not tinged or dulled with 
other shades.

	In another location and in a smaller group of half dozen L. 
sprengeri, there is one bulb that has the blue tips extending down 
most of the petals giving a strong 'electric' sky blue color to the 
entire flower.

	And I have seen other exceptional individual bulbs grown by others.

	I have inquired before, but had little response about 
commercial propagation through any tissue culture or traditional 
methods to make these beauties available. Nor have I done any bulb 
cutting, quartering, chipping etc. Does anyone have experience with 
Lycoris in this regard? What is the best time of year. Mid-summer 
when totally dormant?

	Frustrating, but beautiful.

		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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