Veltheimia bracteata vs. capensis

Brian Whyer
Sat, 09 Apr 2005 10:31:26 PDT
> In the Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs key:
> Leaves glossy dark green, seldom all deciduous; bulb tunics fleshy;
> 10-30 mm long, spring flowering = V. bracteata
> Leaves glaucous or grayish, deciduous; outer bulb tunics papery;
> 10-15 mm long; autumn and winter flowering = V. capensis

I have two seed grown forms of what were supposed to be (AGS seed?)
Velthemia bracteata, both with very glossy wavy edged leaves, one broad
leaves, 2"+ wide, the other 1-1/2" wide, but the flowering time depends
very much on winter temperature. They bud up in late autumn, but can be
flowered from November indoors, until now in a frost free greenhouse.
The flower colour also varies considerably with light/temperature
levels, presumably due to the time of year; as a house plant in a south
facing window (December/January), they are a poor pale pink, in the
greenhouse (February/March/April) they are quite a good deep pink, but
the last to open flowers fade again if brought into the house.
Mine flowered in 3-4 years from seed, even as quite small bulbs in 3
1/2" pots, and flower every year. They have quite small root systems and
can almost fill the top surface of the pot. They are the most
accommodating flowering bulbs I have.

Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8

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