Cyrtanthus suaveolens

Cameron McMaster
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 18:58:03 PST
Yes Ken -  you must have C mackenii - it is evergreen and certainly makes many offsets with long bright green leaves.  C. suaveolens does neither of these things. C mackenii can flower when it feels like in captivity, especially when it might have been hybridised with similar species (like brachycyphus). Wild populations are more specific and usually only flower in July and August (late winter).  The other interesting thing about C. mackenii is that the evergreen form grows in stream beds in riverine forest patches near the south east coast of South Africa, always in shade.  Often if grows between rocks in the streams beds with the bulbs submergd in water or on the edges of pools.  A subspecies, C mackenii subsp. cooperi, occurs further inland where it is widespread in moist grassland.  It is rather a dirty dull yellow (in contrast to the evergreen form which is clear, bright yellow),  has shorter greyer leaves, grows in full sun, flowers from July to September and is totally deciduous, flowering before the leaves appear later in spring.  Both forms occur in the summer rainfall region of South Africa. 

Cameron and Rhoda McMaster
African Bulbs
PO Box 26, Napier 7270
Tel/Fax: 028 423 3651
Mobile: 082 774 2075

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