Manfreda virginica

Jim McKenney
Fri, 22 Apr 2005 15:06:47 PDT
Dennis, it's one of my favorite plants. I've bought a few into the garden
over the years - I'm always on the lookout for forms with attractively
spotted foliage. I've seen some very fat, stout, nicely spotted Manfreda in
a local garden - it's labeled M. virginica although as a garden ornament
it's pretty distinct. Early in the season the leaves have a strongly rippled
edge - very cool! 

If your plants do bloom and you have access to tuberose pollen, do some
crosses. Manfreda virginica and Polianthes tuberosa will cross and produce
viable seeds (and this suggests that the botanists need to take another

Conroe Joe might have something more to say about this interesting genus:
he's down in a hotbed of Manfreda culture, where several species and
cultivated forms of dubious origin will thrive. 

If my plant of Manfreda singuliflora blooms again this year, I'll be doing
some other crosses, too. This is evidently hardy here, and it may be in
Cincinnati, too. Unfortunately, Manfreda singuliflora does not have a scent
that I can detect, so some tuberose hybrids here might improve things. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where sadly there are no
rattlesnakes for the Manfreda to master (did I say that last year?). 

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