Ref Scilla Peruviana

Paul Tyerman
Tue, 15 Feb 2005 20:50:44 PST
At 04:32  16/02/05, you wrote:
>Dear Paul,
>            Do you have a picture of your Harrisiana?
>You say it is the same as the Hughii?


I have been "told" that var harrisiana is a synonym for S. hughii but 
apparently that is wrong.  Maybe that synonymy is just in what is in 
commerce around the place?  According to Angelo in Italy there are very 
specific differences and he doubts that the real S. hughii is in 
cultivation, or at least not freely available.  I can send you a picture if 

>You mention 2 other forms which flower regularly when
>the common species sometimes misses a year. Which 2?

I meant that the 2 other forms I have (i.e the var harrisiana and the 
'Alba') flower very very regularly while the straight species "can" skip a 
year.  It was commented on one of the lists last year I think that it is 
common for S. peruviana to miss a year, but I have only ever seen it happen 
once.  I have grown it for years in pots and I have never had a pot fail to 
flower, no matter HOW bad the conditions it was in were <grin>, but I HAVE 
had my clump that has been in the ground for 6 years miss flowering one 
year for unknown reasons.  I was stumped until I read the comment about it 
being common for missing years.  It obviously isn't "common" for it to do 
it here but it can on rare ocassions.

The pure white 'Alba' has flowered every year I have had it in pots or in 
the ground, and the var harrisiana flowers in spring and/or autumn as it 
feels like it.  I have found that the var harrisiana tends to be much more 
reactive to its environmental conditions as it tends to go dormant if it 
gets dry, whereas the straight species and the 'Alba' hold on for much 
longer.  The var harrisiana tends to put up leaves whenever things are 
right for it, and I think this may be why it can flower in spring or autumn 
as it feels like it.... in a good year it can then flower in both spring 
and autumn rather than just sticking to spring like the 'Alba' and the 
straight species we have here.  The harrisiana observations though are just 
from my own plants that I have been growing for the last 3 or so years.  We 
are in a bad drought at the moment but the pots are watered regularly.  It 
has behaved quite differently in similar conditions to the other ones, 
which is why I have noticed it so clearly.  I do not know if these 
observations hold true for others as I have not spoken to anyone else 
growing it.

Hopefully this explains more clearly what I was meaning.


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia.  USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9

Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Trilliums, Cyclamen, 
Crocus, Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just 
about anything else that doesn't move!!!!!

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