Sparaxis, was What bulb is this?

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 29 Aug 2010 18:25:50 PDT

If you look at the photos on the Sparaxis wiki hybrid page you will 
see that Sparaxis hybridizes very easily with many different color 
And it grows very easily in New Zealand. Years ago when I visited 
Terry Hatch he had a whole field of them and he was letting the bees 
pollinate them and see what the result might be. I've saved seed from 
open pollinated plants and grown it on and had the same experience 
that John has that none of them are the same regardless of the what 
the plant was like I saved the seed from. Like Terry Hatch I find the 
color forms that nature produces fascinating. And what is interesting 
is when I planted just one in a pot  to try to isolate the forms and 
just grow on ones I liked, I found a great difference in how much 
they offset. Some offset rapidly and some much more slowly. Obviously 
the ones that are commonly sold as a specific color form are the ones 
that offset quickly as they are easy to propagate. I doubt that what 
Ina is growing is a pure species even though it does look a lot like 
Sparaxis bulbifera so I could be wrong. I was given some that look 
very much like it that someone bought at a garden center. I'll use 
the file so I won't have to describe where it is on the hybrid page. 
It has been long lived and expanded by offsets and has hybrid vigor.
They aren't floppy for me either (not like Ixia which falls over if 
it rains while it is blooming), but they can expand dramatically by 
corms and by seed so Ina if you don't like it, you probably would be 
wise to remove it. I have occasionally seen it growing in the wild 
where I live, but it hasn't seemed to last too long as it later years 
I haven't seen it.

Mary Sue

More information about the pbs mailing list