summer water for Brunsvigia josephinae?

Jim lykos
Sat, 30 Aug 2008 06:24:10 PDT
HI Ken,

My experience in flowering  Brunsvigia josephinea is that flower count will decline progressively if you set seed each year.  The high flower counts arise from a couple of years of rest as a seed parent.  The highest flower count in the mature  josephinea I've grow is 60. This is also directly related to the number of leaves that the bulb supported in the previous season. This year my mature B. josephinea has 14 large leaves and I'm anticipating a large flower count in  February 2009.  
However if you  harvest  seed from every flower then you can expect the  flower count in the following year  to be as low as 25, or no flowering at all and a significantly lower leaf count.
Self pollinated seed set is  a factor of the overall level of plant vigor  - ie the higher the flower count the more likely it is that the B. josephinea will set seed from a selfing.  Below 30 flowers  I've been unable to set any seed from self pollination whereas a  josephinea with 50 flowers will produce almost optimal selfing seed set - and there is a gradient in between these levels.  

Good growing

Jim Lykos
Blue Mountains Sydney

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ken 
  To: Pacific Bulb Society 
  Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 1:37 AM
  Subject: Re: [pbs] summer water for Brunsvigia josephinae?

  Bill, Jim ... Thank you both!

  In the future, I may give my bulbs a mid-late summer drink. As it happens, the weather folks here are predicting a good chance of rain today! Warm moist air from the Sea of Cortez is pushing its way unusually far to the West and we currently have what look like rain clouds overhead. This happens sometimes and any rain that does fall, usually does so as virga, teasing us coastal San Diegans mercilessly. We shall see if any measurable amount actually hits the ground.

  My 3 scapes continue to expand ... I expect the first florets to open late today or tomorrow ... unless the rain, if it actually occurs, has an affect on them. The largest scape, on a bulb which has bloomed in each of the last 3 years, appears it will have 36 flowers. The other two, blooming for the first time this year, appear to have 22 and 19 flowers, respectively. I am hopeful the ability to cross pollinate will produce more seed, as I have had very little production from my one bloom the last 3 years.

  I have heard that B.josephinae can have as many as 80-100 florets ... is this true in your collective experiences?

  San Diego

  --- On Thu, 8/28/08, Jim lykos <> wrote:

  Bill is correct in pointing to the occasional mid summer heavy rain storm for
  bringing B josephinea into leaf during summer ... 
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