Drimia rotunda (Rhodocodon rotundus) & Malagasy pronunciation (was Razafindratsira)

Jacob Knecht jacobknecht@gmail.com
Tue, 29 Jun 2010 20:21:24 PDT
Thank you Leo for these reminders about Malagasy pronunciation.  LOL,
regarding Cymraeg, it's such an endearing tongue.  I work with many
endangered Malagasy palm and orchid species and these marvellous epithets
and place names are both befuddling and delightful, what a fascinating
member of the Austronesian language group.  It is one of my greatest dreams
to spend time there.

I got a bulb from Madagascar via the Massaras labelled as Rhodocodon sp. n°1
in 2007.  It bloomed in September 2008 with globe-shaped pendent white bell
flowers.  I was too busy to get pictures.  After seeing this (
http://bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/subs/…), I think I may
have a tentative ID as Drimia rotunda which is endemic to the west of the
island.  It set seed without manual pollination and without the presence of
a compatible species in bloom.  After bloom the bulb decided to split, a
behaviour that I have seen sometimes with very large Drimia maritima.  I am
also growing another that they offered as Rhodocodon sp. n°2 but it has not
flowered and its leaves are quite different than sp. n°1.

Seed sat unsown until May 2009.  They took two weeks to germinate and I
found it curious that they did so epigeally.  These seedlings are pictured
here at just over three months old:
http://flickr.com/photos/morabeza79/….  The seedlings are
growing very well this year with leaves at least 150% larger than last

I would love to hear about others' experiences with Madagascar Drimia and
also anything anyone might now about the conditions of their habitat.  I
read some place that they may behave as epiphytes but it have my doubts.  In
Honolulu these grew very well for me outdoors but needed a dry dormant rest
in winter.  I am now growing them indoors because summers don't get warm
enough here in this frequently foggy part of Berkeley.

Jacob Knecht
Berkeley, California

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/morabeza79/

On 29 June 2010 19:31, Leo A. Martin <leo@possi.org> wrote:

> Uh... I think his name is Alfred Razafindratsira, pronounced
> alphabetically with the accent on the DRAT, and the final -ea in the
> plant's specific is Latinization.

We can thank a Welshman for deciding how to write spoken Malagasy in the
Latin alphabet, which explains why it's so easy to sound out. (That was

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