Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Fri, 31 Dec 2010 09:55:57 PST
I think I recognize 2 or 3 of the writers (even though I don't know their GardenWeb forum names). I think they're on PBS, too.

I read Veronica Read's book, and while I've never seen the hybrids she wrote about or found any sources for the breeders she mentions, I do know a little about some of the Komoriya hybrids that the GardenWeb forum members appear to be trying to obtain.

The Komoriya hybrids are not all mini-Hippeastrums. However, it seems obvious to me that Komoriya used a number of species in his breeding program that are different than the ones that went into producing all the various Dutch hybrids. The Japanese tend to have a much different aesthetic appreciation than that of much of Western culture, so they often want to breed for much different qualities in a species than what we tend to see from a lot of the Dutch breeding. However, I guess I must not be that Western since I love a lot of the results I've seen and can't ever figure out why U.S. and American plant corporations aren't jumping at the opportunity to sell some of these results.

I skimmed through some of the other postings on that forum and saw that one participant was able to get his hands on a few of Komoriya's Hippeastrums the same way I did: From a friend who got them while in Japan and brought them back with him. I also saw that he hinted at something I found to be the case through sad experience: Komoriya's hybrids aren't as easy to grow as the Dutch and Hadeco (South African) hybrids. I think they need to be cared for much more like Hippeastrum species than the Dutch/Hadeco hybrids do. I lost quite a few before I realized this.

Anyway, Komoriya is a large bulb wholesaler in Japan and most of the Japanese mail order plant companies get their Hippeastrum hybrids and other unusual bulbs from Komoriya and possibly some other wholesalers. So about 8 years ago a Japanese friend of mine came to California for a Clivia conference at the Huntington Gardens and he ordered a number of the hybrids for me from 3 retailers and brought them with him when he came. I just now unburied one of his emails to me and he said that Komoriya used Hipp. correiensis (don't know the correct spelling for that) as the basis for his line of mini-Hippeastrum. The three retail mail order companies are Sakata, Takii, and Kairyoen. If you have a Japanese friend, they can obtain the catalogs and scan the Hippeastrum pages and email them to you. (This is what my friend did.) Then they can order them, and somehow get them to you. These days dormant bulbs are supposed to have phytosanitary certificates to be imported into the U.S. (This wasn't the case a few years ago--dormant bulbs and seeds didn't need any kind of permit or phyto.) However, if you or a friend are flying back from Japan, it's easy to get a phyto at the airport in Tokyo before getting on the plane. And there is no charge (unless they've changed this in the past few years). You just call ahead for a reservation and show up a couple of hours earlier than you normally would. [I wish all countries' phytosanitary inspection process were as easy as Japan's is!]

Another thing: unlike the U.S. and Europe, Hippeastrums are not treated like poinsettias. They're considered spring and summer blooming flowers and are marketed that way. So you can order from the above three retailers up to their deadline at the end of March. And they refer to Hippeastrums as Amaryllis [transliterated from their writing system as 'amaririsu' (or if this comes through: 'アマリリス').]

I only have 3 varieties left, and the one that blooms regularly for me is 'Yume Mitai'. I love it and photos don't really do justice to what it looks like in person.

Anyway, that's my experience with Japanese Hippeastrums. I wish I could get more, although it looks like the prices have gone way up in the past 8 years. Most were in the ¥1000 to ¥1800 which back then was about $10 to $18. I somehow found a listing for one that I really wanted called 'Pretty Lips' which is being offered by Kairyoen in 2011 for ¥3300 or $40. It was ¥1800 back in 2002.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a

On Dec 31, 2010, at 6:58 AM, James Waddick wrote:

>> http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/…
>> This is a forum entry reguarding obtaining bulbs from Japan .
>> Del
> Dear Del,
> 	An interesting discussion about a group order of mini-Hippeastrum from Komoriya Nursery. I don't recognize any names of the forum members. Was the order placed? Is it still open?
> 	I went to the nursery web site and they have a very interesting list and a few photos, but no prices on their English site, a few in Japanese. ( http://www.komoriya.co.jp/)
> 	Do you have a price list?
> 	Sounds very interesting.
> 	I think some of this list might be interested to add a few bulbs if a group order is in the works.
> 	Thanks and Happy New Year		Jim W.

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