"Lachenalia pearsonii" NOT question

mlgd@aol.com mlgd@aol.com
Fri, 02 Mar 2007 08:40:17 PST
Hi Jim~~~
I live in Dallastown, PA just outside of York. I belong to the Maryland Hort Society and sometimes I attend meetings of the Mason-Dixon Chapter of the NARGS. I say this because your name sounds very familiar to me and I was wondering if I've met you at one of those meetings.
Right now, today (which does look like spring outside and it is tempting me to leave my desk) I'm doing some research on Lachenalia. I'm doing a project with some of my students at York College--we're looking at growing SA geophytes as winter-blooming houseplants. More specifically, we're growing 12 species of Lachenalia (actually 2 are cultivars) and a quite a few other SA geophytes. 
One curious thing I've come across about lachenalia pearsonii is: "The name L. pearsonii has for many years been incorrectly used for the plant which is readily available in the trade; the latter is in fact a New Zealand raised hybrid with pendulous orange-yellow flowers and maroon tips. The true L. pearsonii is as yet unknown in cultivation." (The Lachenalia Handbook, Graham Duncan)
The Lachenalia Handbook by Graham Duncan which is the resource most people reference when referring to Lachenalia, though it is from 1988. He's the authority on Lachenalia and is charge of the bulb collection at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town. He's in the process of writing the definitive book on Lachenalia which will include many more species of Lachenalia than were described in his earlier handbook.
Graham describes L. pearsonii as having "two linear leaves and the bulb is surrounded with numerous rigid tunics, forming a distinct neck. The inflorescence consists of small, widely campanulate white flowers which have brownish-blue markings at their tips." 
I'd like to know the origin of this New Zealand grown cultivar as I'm growing this evidently misnamed cultivar. 
My further dilemma is that Manning, Goldblatt and Snijman don't mention L. pearsonii at all in thier Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs and Duncan doesn't mention it either in later Bulbous Plants of Southern Africa. Any insight? Looks like I better write an email to Graham and get the scoop from him, too.
I was very excited to just receive the email with the SA Galdioli link. WOW. This connection is so exciting--I feel like I'm in plant info heaven.
Marilyn Daly
-----Original Message-----
From: jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 11:02 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] new member

Welcome to the list, Marilyn. 

Where in Pennsylvania do you live? 

I'm in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. Although
I've been growing and enjoying bulbs all of my life it seems, I'm a relative
newbie with respect to the plants of southern Africa. I grow a small
selection of Lachenalia, Nerine, south African Oxalis and others. 

My particular focus now is to learn which of these plants can be grown using
a cold frame (I don't have a greenhouse and just about every plant I bring
into the house dies).

I'm still feeling my way with these plants. You'll fine that there is an
amazing depth of knowledge and experience within this group, both with
respect to the plants of southern Africa, bulbs and plants in general - and

If you're wondering about something, chances are someone in the group has
already wondered about it, too, and has some experiences to share. 

I think those of us in the east have certain problems we have to work out on
our own. I hope you will post your successes and failures freely. And if you
have a digital camera, please consider posting images to the wiki. 

And do look over carefully Mary Sue's instructions for searching the
archives: I have not been a member of this list since its inception, and by
searching I've run across a lot of older posts in the archives which are
really interesting - and which I would otherwise have missed.

I hope we will be hearing from you again soon.  

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where today it not only looks
a bit like spring, it sounds and smells like it, too.

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin http://www.pvcnargs.org/ 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society http://www.potomaclilysociety.org/

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