What makes Amaryllis hybrids bloom? Somewhat off topic

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:04:59 PDT
Dell wrote: “I can't grow A. belladonna here in Eastern Pennsylvania - even
in pots. But

I do have several pots of xAmercrinum which do bloom. I noticed today that

two pots of them are sending up scapes. Our summer has been VERY wet.”


For decades I’ve been traveling to a friend’s house in nearby northern
Virginia for the annual October picnic of our local lily group. Along the
way there is a house with a curb-side planting of xAmarcrinum howardii which
in most years is still in full bloom in late October. There seem to be a
half dozen plants planted in a staggered row maybe six or eight feet long.
It’s an impressive sight, in particular for those of us starved to see
Amaryllis belladonna blooming in our own gardens. 


I have no idea when these plants of xAmarcrinum begin to bloom – I’ll try to
get over there sometime soon to see what they are doing now.  


I checked the Amaryllis belladonna growing in my protected cold frame: the
bulb extends above ground, so it’s easy to check. There is no sign of
activity of either a foliar or floral type. Nor does a nearby plant of
Rhodophiala bifida show signs of activity. The glass top of the cold frame
is kept open all summer, but it is tilted so that no rain enters the frame
(and the frame itself is in the rain shadow of the house eaves). So it’s
pretty dry in the frame. In fact, it’s so dry that a plant of Echinocereus
viridiflorus dried up in the frame this year! 


Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/

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