Crinophone ... is it possible?

jim lykos
Wed, 15 Sep 2010 07:46:39 PDT
Hi Ken,

1.           Yes if the seeds on the Boophane disticha are irregulary 
shaped, larger  and/or have a different seed colour then the indications are 
promising for viable hybrid seed.  If  the seed coat starts to pull away 
from the seed or you notice wilting of the seed then its hard to reverse 
this problem so your suggestion about keeping it dry for the first week or 
two and applying a fungicide powder should help.

2.   On the question of  the status of  species listed with  Crinum 
asiaticum in the subgenus Stenaster  -  the Botanist JG Baker used and 
characterised the subgenus as " Perianth erect, hypocrateriform segments 
linnear, stamens spreading." -Potentially there are many related species 
for its hard to conceive that all the related named species in this 
subgenera from tropical Asia, Australia, South West Pacific and Tropical 
Africa are one species complex. In Bakers treatment of the Asiaticum related 
group - he uses the term Var. and realistically sub species may be another 
valid way of regarding some of them.
I have C. asiaticum with  broad short leaves and stem standing around 2 and 
a half feet, its flowers are linnear and very short lasting, while the three 
different sources  of C. procerum from Sth East Asia have the characteristic 
of  tapering sword like leaves held semi erect  and the tallest of these is 
around 6 foot 6 inches, with strongly textured large linnear flowers.  C. 
japonica from Southern Asia is  relatively short with broad leaves and 
horticulturally insignificant flowers , C. xanthophyllum is the one with 
yellow leaves and wiry linnear flowers, and there is a giant like C. 
pacificum from the Pacific Island Vanuata, and the tall large succulent 
leafed C. douglasii from the Torres Striat Islands  north of Australia.
Probably the most robust and cold tolerant species in this Subgenus is  C. 
pedunculatum found over 3,800 kms of the east coast of Australia ranging 
from tropical to warm/ temperate coastal areas.  The most robust of these 
grow to over 6 feet in height and are 8 feet broad. These are the hardiest 
of  the subgenus Stenaster.  The most floriferous C. pedunculatum I have 
seen supported around 120 flowers to the unmbel - although the best 
flowering in my collection has only 50 flowers per umbel.

2.       In relation to Amarcrinums - its particulary hard to get viable 
seed from intergeneric hybrids using Crinums as the seed parent. So I've 
tended in recent years to use the most fertile of  my Amaryllis hybrids as 
the seed parents. Due to the changes in seed colour of this hybrid to green 
(which stand out from the other plum-red, maroon, pink and white seeds) and 
the quick growth of the radicle  its easy to pick out the intergeneric 
hybrid seed.
However after many attempts I found that this wouldnt work using C. procerum 
and pedunculatum as the seed parent - so my recent attempts at creating a 
intergeneric hybrid I switched to using Amaryllis pollen on these Crinums 
and found that C. procerum  often produced  aptomatic  seeds but that some 
of those produced in the second to third flower flush  of the season 
contained  considerably  smaller seeds and that these appear  from 2 seasons 
growth to be Amarcrinums.

3.    Yes its possible to breed large flowered Amaryllis hybrids - I 
crossed a white Amaryllis Hathor with its yellow/apricot throat and curled 
tepals with another white Amaryllis marked with pink venation and curled 
tepals - and flowered the seedlings  after 5 years - they  all had larger 
flowers  than the parents but one that was shell pink in color is 
Hippeastrum size at 8 inches diameter.  The outstanding problem is that the 
pedicles are short resulting in a crowded  umbel - but there is potential 
for breeding larger Amaryllis flowers.


Jim Lykos

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ken" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:42 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Crinophone ... is it possible?

Hi Jim,

Thank you for responding! I harvested one of the capsules this morning ... 
it was the lone fruit on a flower stem which has dried out in the last week 
and collapsed. I opened it to find one seed ... pic at:

It appears 'healthy' ... about twice as large as an ordinary B.disticha seed 
and nearly round. Seed I've gotten off this Crinum in the past has been much 
larger by 2 or 3 times ... and irregularly shaped, usually 2-4 in a pod. 
Don't know if an indication of a valid cross or not. Will monitor for 
germination. Would you recommend keeping it dry until signs of radical 
emergence and/or possibly dust if with a fungicide to ward off such 

I have 4 other pods ... 2 on each of 2 flower stems, which appear to be 
slightly larger than the harvested capsule:

BTW ... I'm a bit confused by what I see on the web ... is C.asiaticum = 

You mentioned Amarcrinums with C.procerum as the seed parent. I've tried 
xAmaryllis pollen on my few Crinums, but the seed looks more like Crinum ... 
green, large and irregularly shaped, and those that I grown to flower appear 
identical to the mother Crinum, so I suspect clones.

Another question for you re xA.belladonna .... I posted a FLICKR pic 
yesterday of what appears (to me) to be a large flowered specimen in my yard 
... from 'excess' seed. All my A.belladonnas and hybrids have flowers 7-11cm 
across ... but this one is between 15-16cm. Now maybe all my bulbs are just 
from small-flowered stock and this large one is not abnormally so. What is 
your experience?

Thanks again,

Ken Blackford
San Diego

--- On Tue, 9/14/10, jim lykos <> wrote:

From: jim lykos <>
Subject: Re: [pbs] Crinophone ... is it possible?
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 5:14 AM

Hi Ken,

Your cross sounds marvelous if it comes off. I know from similar bigeneric 
crosses I've made using C. procerum and C. pedunculatum that the apomatic 
seed outcome is the more likely, but on those occasions where bigeneric 
fertilisation occurs and the seed grows - the maturation of the seed is 
often the crucial stage. Its at that point that hybrid seed is likely to 
die - the seeds can become pulpy or fungus infected due to poor epidermal 
seed cover and the radical fails to emerge.
If you lose most of the seed then its very likely that you did make the 
bigeneric cross - and the issue might well be finding a better seed parent 
next time around.
I've found that large plants of C. procerum are remarkably seed fertile - 
although usually aptomatically but with persistence and if fertilised in 
early Autumn the seed have a better prospect of better seed development as I 
have found in eventually creating Amarcrinums using C, procerum as the seed 


----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 9:45 AM
Subject: [pbs] Crinophone ... is it possible?

I have this urge to play Frankenstein ... even with my limited knowlege. 
Earlier this year, I completely covered the sticky end of the stigma(s) on 
my Crinum asiaticum with Boophone disticha pollen. I repeated this effort 
over several days in addition to removing the Crinum stamens asap. I've got 
7 swelling capsules, which seem fairly firm, but smaller than in previous 
years. Is such a cross even possible? Are these likely just apomictic seed?

Ken Blackford
San Diego

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