Today: Lycoris and Lilium formosanum

James Waddick
Sat, 15 Aug 2009 10:05:31 PDT
Dear Friends,
	With days hovering well over 90 and nights only cooling to 80 
or so, it is hard time to bloom up a show, but Lycoris continue their 
parade of hybrids.  Some pale yellow (chinensis x sprengeri) just 
opened today while L. incarnata are at peak in some quite large 
clumps of dozens of stems.  The L. chinensis are going down while the 
L. longituba and squamigera are down to their last few blossoms.
	Stiill no signs of L. caldwellii, the next on schedule.

	Almost every faded bloom shows signs of swelling ovaries. 
Lycoris are quick to set seed or suggest they might. I have mentioned 
before and there are literature reports of the occasional seed on L 
squamigera, but I know of NO reports of successfully germinated 
seedlings. Pods swell very fast and ripe seed will be ready in a few 

	I do have a single clump of an odd Lycoris discovered in a 
large planting of typical L. squamigera. It blooms after L. 
squamigera and the color is closer to orange than pink, but I think 
it is some odd hybrid, not a seedling of L. squamigera.  It surely 
contains L. sprengeri, but what else? The color is unique and 
exceptionally attractive.

	At the other end of the garden a few self sown seedlings of 
Lilium formosanum began blooming yesterday. The seedlings in less 
than perfect locations are about 3 to 4 feet tall, but one seedling 
back in slightly more shade and protection has three huge pendant 
blooms today (more buds to open) nodding from an 8 foot tall stem.! 
Its height is impressive and it is great although the plants with 
shorter stems make for easier appreciation of the scent.

	There has been discussion about the genetics of stem height. 
I do not doubt this is true, but certainly cultivation and 
microclimate contribute greatly. The seedlings above all come from a 
limited gene pool and grow a few feet from each other.  A novice 
might be tempted to ask if they are different cvs, clones or species!

	We could sure use some rain to get those late Lycoris 'moving'.

		Best		Jim W.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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