New Geissorhiza blooming

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 08 Mar 2005 17:49:16 PST

The first time my husband and I visited South Africa (in a wet year) we saw 
a flash of white on the side of the mountain as we were driving in the 
Cederberg from Clanwilliam to the Biedouw Valley. We stopped the car at the 
first good place and hiked up to look at these beautiful white flowers. We 
weren't sure exactly what they were and our guess wasn't correct. Rachel 
and Rod Saunders told us they were probably Geissorhiza leopoldtii. In the 
Geissorhiza monograph it says that this population only blooms in a wet 
year as that area can be very dry. I wanted to grow it so when Silverhill 
Seeds listed it I bought some seeds. Sown in October 2002 they are at last 
blooming. They have been in bloom for almost 3 weeks and I am enchanted. 
They remind me of white Hesperanthas, but they are open in the day time. I 
brought them in one night to admire along with Hesperantha cucullata that 
only opens late afternoon and the fragrance was overpowering so I had to 
move one of them out. One of my pictures shows the flower next to a yellow 
Hesperantha vaginata that Lauw gave me after I had written my dismay over 
losing it. This yellow form that was once considered a variety is a much 
more reliable bloomer for me than the yellow and brown one which often 
looks like it is going to open, but doesn't because it isn't warm or sunny 
enough for it actually to happen.…

Speaking of Geissorhiza, Geissorhiza inaequalis, is behaving a bit like 
Freesia alba and Oxalis obtusa. It is appearing in many of my pots and also 
in the garden. This time of the year walking in my garden is wonderful 
because I have Freesia alba so many places that the fragrance just 
surrounds you. Weeds I guess, but nice ones. Oxalis obtusa isn't weedy in 
the garden, but just appears in a lot of my pots. I think about yanking it 
out when I first see it, but think someone might want it so I let it grow 
for the BX.

Mary Sue 

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