Eucomis revisited

Ellen Hornig
Mon, 19 Jul 2010 17:03:33 PDT
Adam, I'll try to photograph and measure the different forms tomorrow. or if not then in the next few days.  These are pot-grown plants, so not necessarily good sources of data.

I looked up Devon on Google Earth and found it in the far eastern corner of Gauteng province, S. Africa, at an altitude of roughly 5400 feet.  That's respectable - some hardiness is a possibility.

As I've said before, the hardiest and most vigorous eucomis I have in the garden is E. comosa 'Peace Candles', which is interesting because E. comosa is not a very high-altitude species.  That one, though, blooms and multiplies freely; before I dug it up to sell more, I had a large stock bed of it in a former vegetable garden, and it grew untended for several years.  I also noted previously that Ed Bowen's beautiful hybrid E. 'Rhode Island Red' (pod parent E. pole-evansii, pollen parent E. 'Sparkling Burgundy'), overwintered fine last year (we do have good snow cover) and is now in bud.

Dave Fenwick mentioned a bronze-leaved selection.  I've been playing with seedlings of dark-leaved forms (the E. pallidiflora hybrids) for years, and just today lined out about 25 of my best 3-year-olds, some with really startling red-purple hearts and purple leaves.  I think many people are playing with these purple genes now, so I will be leaving mine in the garden to select for hardiness as well as pigmentation.

One surprising set of hybrids that emerged accidentally from my little charges (they tend to bloom in close proximity to one another) has E. vandermerwei as the pod parent and - apparently-  a purplish-leaved E. pallidiflora hybrid as a pollen parent.  These babies look quite interesting - one in particular, of course.  They haven't matured yet (one is in bud) but they're larger than E. vandermerweii, and the best has dusky leaves with some internal spotting and a ruffled leaf edge.  The vandermerwei heritage is obvious, but they're definitely hybrids.  Should be fun to see them bloom.

Lastly, I have a wonderful variegated E. zambesiaca (probably, though rec'd by a friend as E. autumnalis, so possibly the famous 'White Dwarf') with yellow/cream/green striping.  I sowed the few seeds it produced last year, hoping (at my friend Ed Bowen's suggestion) to get an f. aurea, and noticed today that the seedlings are....striped!  This should be REALLY fun to watch.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Adam Fikso <>
>Sent: Jul 19, 2010 7:31 PM
>To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
>Subject: Re: [pbs] Eucomis revisited
>Ellen. I'd like to know more.  How big is it?  I've got two Eucomises in bud 
>right now.
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Ellen Hornig" <>
>To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
>Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 4:46 PM
>Subject: [pbs] Eucomis revisited
>> Has anyone else grown the Eucomis autumnalis, dwarf form from Devon, 
>> offered several years ago by Dawie Human?  I'm really impressed with this 
>> one!  It has notably silvery-green foliage, nice short pedicels , 
>> decent-sized 
>pbs mailing list

Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
3712 Co. Rt. 57
Oswego NY 13126
Phone: 315-342-5915
Fax: 315-342-5573

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