Brunsvigia grandiflora

Jim Lykos
Tue, 08 Jul 2008 17:16:26 PDT
Hi Mary Sue,

I'm in agreement with you and Dirk Wallace about the seasonal growth of 
Brunsvigia grandiflora.  My 3 plants of this species are growing in a garden 
bed reserved for Brunsvigia's and they have glaucous twisted leaves and are 
autumn/winter growing like marginata, bosmaniae, litorallis and josephinea 
that also grow in the same beds. There are obviously a number of variants of 
this species which inlcude variations in dormancy.

Jim Lykos

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mary Sue Ittner" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 12:54 AM
Subject: [pbs] Brunsvigia grandiflora

> Hi,
> I suspect Brunsvigia grandiflora is one of those plants that may behave
> differently depending on where the seed comes from and how they are grown.
> Quoting Dirk Wallace from Australia: "The variation in a species can be
> immense, and there is no hard and fast rule to cover all the different
> forms of a particular species.
> Many factors are involved, especially where the collection comes from, and
> what climate you are putting it into."
>  I saved these notes from Greg Pettit from 1999:
> "Brunsvigia grandiflora is found in Southern Natal towards the mountains.
> At Kokstad a large colony existed (decimated for indigenous medicine?).
> These bulbs were in a heavy black clay and were buried almost up to the
> necks.  This species has a very close resemblance to Boophone disticha and
> is often found at the local "medicine" market in and amongst Boophone. 
> It
> will not tolerate the high humidity of Durban so my attempts at rescuing
> some have proved fruitless.
> There is another colony of B. grandiflora growing on the foothills of the
> Southern Drakensberg which are at least 200mm in diameter and are 2/3
> exposed above the ground.   They are subjected to heavy frosts and
> snowfalls in winter and although I did not see them in flower (only in a
> light snow),
> I am sure that the pink display would be impressive."
> On the other hand Dirk's plants had a cycle of growing  through
> Autumn/Winter/Spring and going  dormant in late Spring through Summer. He
> kept his with his rainlily collection and watered them while dormant in
> summer every couple of days.
> I received seeds of this species from the Huntington Gardens in Southern
> California in February 2000. I forgot they were supposed to be a summer
> rainfall and treated them as a winter rainfall species and was horrified
> when I was potting them one year to realize that I had been treating them
> as a winter rainfall species. Then Rhoda wrote that this species in the
> Stutterheim region of the Eastern Cape had leaves appearing in late summer
> to early fall and growing into winter when they dried up. I started giving
> mine a bit of water during dormancy, probably not as much as Dirk, but
> watering when I think about it. I planted them in a large pot and 
> submerged
> it in the ground and let it get rained on during winter. In the ground in 
> a
> large pot the soil probably doesn't dry out so much either and since I 
> have
> it nestled in another pot it is harder for the redwood roots to get into
> the pot and suck up the moisture. Last year it finally bloomed,  seven
> years from sowing and the last of the leaves has just dried up. New leaves
> usually appear in August or September so it isn't without leaves very long
> for me.  It bloomed in November and December which is not the time of year
> it is supposed to bloom according to others (mid to late summer). Also
> Rhoda said it blooms with the leaves which obviously was not how it was
> supposed to bloom. I love the undulating leaves of the form I am growing
> and when it was blooming it got multiple compliments, perhaps partly since
> it was a time of year not a lot was in bloom in my garden.
> Mine is the 2nd picture in the group, but there are also habitat pictures
> from Cameron.
> Rhoda and Cameron gave away seeds of this plant to our group in 2004. Any
> of you wish to report how your plants are doing?
> Mary Sue
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