Nerine thoughts

Michael Mace
Mon, 23 Aug 2010 00:21:42 PDT
Jim W. wrote:

>>I do not grow any Nerine sarniensis, the 'joy' of the later Peter
Smithers.  I just had a few emails about this and began to wonder just how
'rare' this bulb and its many cvs are in cultivation in the US.  I noted we
have a fair number of pix o the wiki, but very few nursery sources.

I have about 30 pots of them, and I'm aware of somebody on the list in
California who has gazillions, but I will let them speak for themselves.

Mine came from Jack Zinkowski, a Nerine breeder in Oregon who passed away
about 10 years ago.  A rescue operation was organized by some nice folks in
the International Bulb Society, and his collection was distributed to a
number of IBS members.

You're right, I am not aware of a lot of Nerine sources in the US, but the
situation in the UK seems different.  The Guernsey Nerine Festival looks
cool… , and
there are a lot of sources listed by the Nerine and Amaryllid Society , including, which has a huge selection.  

Alas, the US government protects me from easily importing these things.

Jim McK wrote:

>>If kept too dry during the summer dormancy, the bulbs shrivel alarmingly:
bulbs the size of a hen?s egg become no thicker than one of my fingers. When
watering is resumed, they eventually plump up. 

You'll eventually kill them if you dry them out in summer, and most of them
won't bloom.  Even when dormant, these bulbs have perennial roots that stay
plump and active-looking all summer long.  Keep in mind that they have
naturalized on the island of Guernsey in the UK, which has year-round rain
and average summer highs of about 70F.  And in their native mountains, they
get half of an inch to an inch of rain on average every month in the summer.

>>The plant is easily grown, but I have no idea what to do to get consistent
performance from this plant. 

Me neither.  Most years I can't get more than a quarter of my pots to bloom,
even when I give them summer water.  Some selections are more reliable than
others, though...

San Jose, CA

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