Aqua Flora
Wed, 12 Sep 2007 10:16:10 PDT
Dear Jim W and all interested,

To answer your questions, there are 3 species of Cryptostephanus, C.
vansonii from Zimbabwe, C. haemanthoides from Tanzania and C. densiflorus
from Angola, the later has also been reported to occur in Northern Namibia.

For those of you who are not familiar with the genus, C. vansonii has white
to pale pink flowers while the other two species has dark purple to black or
brown flowers. C. vansonii is relatively easy of cultivation, while C
.haemanthoides is reported to rather difficult. As far as I know C.
densiflorus is not yet in cultivation, but likely to be just as difficult as
C. haemanthoides.

I have also grown C. vansonii for a number of years and it is by far the
most common of the three species, though still quite rare. I have tried to
pollinate it with Clivia and the reverse cross as well, with no success.
Although I have heard rumours of this being done successfully , I have not
yet seen the proof of the pudding!

As for hybrids between the different Cryptostephanus species, the other two
species are still so rare in cultivation that I doubt anyone has attempted
this. I suspect that such hybrids would produce some very interesting

I have no idea how variable C. haemanthoides or C. densiflorus are, but I
know that there are certain forms of C. vansonii with much darker pink
flowers than usual.

Kind regards,

Pieter van der Walt

Hartbeespoort, South Africa.

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