Mary Sue Ittner
Fri, 17 Aug 2007 12:28:04 PDT

I've been working for a couple of weeks to add habitat pictures for this 
genus and some close-ups of the gorgeous intricate flowers as well. There 
are quite a number of species although I guess a lot of them are white and 
difficult to tell apart. Only a few of the more spectacular ones seem to be 
in cultivation. The corms are tiny and growing them is a bit tricky. Some 
of them are found growing in really wet places (most of them are southwest 
Cape, South Africa) so require good water while growing and since they 
aren't large, growing them in a pot is best. On our trip to South Africa 
almost a year ago we saw these species in mass: Geissorhiza aspera, 
Geissorhiza inaequalis, Geissorhiza monanthos, Geissorhiza radians, and 
Geissorhiza splendidissima. And we saw some interestingly marked 
Geissorhiza heterostyla in the Komsberg. Although I've had no luck growing 
it, I love seeing Geissorhiza ovata in the wild and we saw it too and G. 
ornithogaloides. I've also added some close-ups from Alan Horstmann and 
some habitat pictures of Cameron's. Rachel Saunders helped me figure out 
one of Roy Herold's flowers from the Mystery Page. I had thought it was one 
of the long tubed Ixias, but it had exserted stamens so that didn't fit. 
There is a group of larger flowered Geissorhizas that used to be in a genus 
known as Engysiphon that were included in Geissorhiza saving us from having 
to figure out how to pronounce Engysiphon. I think the white flowers that 
Roy saw in the hills above Muizenburg, south of Cape Town, in October 2002 
is most likely Geissorhiza exscapa. Rachel suggested that or Geisshoriza 
confusa, but after studying my Geissorhiza monograph for descriptions and 
locations and also considering G. tenella (pictured in the West Coast field 
guide next to G. exscapa for a nice comparison), I'm going with G. exscapa.

I hope some of you will take a look as the pictures of this little know 
genus in the Iris family. I hope to add some more corm pictures as I have 
time. Some of them have too many tiny corms around the main corm. These are 
easily dislodged from the main corm and difficult to find in the soil since 
they are so tiny and in my climate seem to survive well even at this tiny 
size and go on to grow and one day bloom.…

Mary Sue

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