Lycoris passeth, Cochicum cometh, the seasons march along

J.E. Shields
Sat, 28 Aug 2004 17:21:48 PDT
Hi All,

The Lycoris are now all nearly over with here.  I hate to see them go, as 
this means summer is about to end.  However, there is consolation at 
hand:  the first Colchicum are starting to bloom in my lawn, C. 
byzantinum.  It is usually the first one up in autumn, and this year is 
typical.  Usually, the next one to appear will be Colchicum cilicium 

In the dappled shade of the lath house, Haemanthus albiflos selections 
continue to flower.  Another sign that autumn is not for away!

In the greenhouse, two dormant bulbs of Haemanthus barkerae are showing 
pink scapes.  This will be the third season that these have tried to 
flower.  The first year, they tried to bloom while bone-dry in the dark 
basement storage room -- I didn't see them until long after the scapes had 
withered and dried.  Last year I knew enough to have them in the greenhouse 
at bloom time, and I got to see flowers.  I did not succeed in setting any 
seeds on them, unfortunately.

Pots of Hymenocallis acutifolia are in flower too -- another sign that 
summer will soon be over.  They have large flat staminal cups and are truly 
handsome flowers.  Hymenocallis cf. expansa is also in bloom.  It has the 
tiniest staminal cups I can recall seeing on a Hymenocallis!  H. expansa is 
a large plant in the Caribaea alliance.  The flowers on my plant are 
definitely not green, nor even greenish, but the tips of the tepals are 
slightly yellow in color.  H. expansa is from the Caribbean islands,  while 
H. acutifolia comes from riverine environments in southern Mexico.

I'm trying to set seeds on both these flowers, by self-pollinating 
them.  The seed (if any) will go to the Hymenocallis Species Conservation 
interest group (Hymenocallis SIG).  The Hymenocallis SIG is an informal 
group I have organized to facilitate communication and exchange of plant 
materials among hobbyists and professionals interested in the conservation 
and preservation of Hymenocallis species.

Strictly out of season,  in another shade house the plant of Clivia 'Jean 
Delphine' donated by Dave Conway to the NACS fund-raising auction to be 
held this autumn (ca. October), is also in flower.  The auction will raise 
money to help fund the International Clivia Conference 2005 being organized 
by Harold Koopowitz.  See the North American Clivia Society web site for 
details as they develop, both about the auction -- coming soon! -- and 
about the March 2005 conference.  Find it 
at:   'Jean Delphine' has a 
bronze-red-orange flower with a deep olive green throat, to die for!  Dave 
is low on stock of 'Jean Delphine' and NACS is very grateful to Dave for 
his donation.

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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