Info on some BX 297 plants

Leo A. Martin
Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:59:28 PST
Hello All,

More information on the material I recently sent to Dell for BX 297.

Albuca navicula is so named because leaf tips resemble canoe prows -
albeit fringed. The spike is very upright, flowers short-stalked so they
almost look sessile, and flowers greenish. It seeds profusely and grows
easily. I don't know how big it can grow; so far the larger the pot, the
larger the plants. Last year in a 10 inch / 25cm diameter plastic
container spikes were about 18 inches / 46cm tall. I got seedling bulbs
from Steven Hammer a number of years ago.

Hybrid Hippeastrum: I have Appleblossom, Minerva, Red Lion and a papilio
hybrid growing near my driveway. This spring on the way to work I crossed
whatever was in bloom. I didn't keep records of who daddy was but for some
of them I know who mom was. There are four lots of seed, each lot coming
from one pollination of one plant. For one lot I lost the piece of paper
with mom's name on it.

The Hymenocallis seed is sprouting. I scooped it out of my pond where it
was floating. It is all from a plant given to me as H. sonorensis by
Celeste Gornick, who posts to this list from time to time. Thanks,
Celeste! The plant has slightly bluish leaves, different from the other
two Hymenocallis I have. (Both of these, H. littoralis and H. sp not the
previous, were received in BX 172 and donated by Jim Waddick. Thanks,
Jim!) I hand selfed the H. sonorensis and did not pollinate the other two
this year; only the sonorensis produced seed.

I tried Hymenocallis for some time in pots like other plants and they just
withered away, no matter how much I watered them. When I found out they
are semi-aquatic I put them into my pond in pots standing in 3"-4" /
7.5-10cm of water. They exploded the pots during the first summer. They
bloom for me in the fall.  If you've failed before, try growing plants in
a minimum 1 gallon pot standing in water in a pond or tub (prevent
mosquito breeding) and use cheap pots because they will break every year
or so.

Hymenocallis seeds float and sprout while floating. Last year sprouted
seed survived the winter floating in my pond, which doesn't freeze over.
If you have an aquarium with a light, just drop them in until weather
warms up in the spring when you can pot them up. If you get one that is
sprouting, plant in soil in a container you keep standing in water in a
warm and very brightly-lit place. If you don't have an aquarium, drop them
in a jar of water you change every 2-3 days and put in the brightest place
you can over the winter.

I got the Sinningia tubiflora from Peter Gammarano in Seattle. He is a
well-known cactus and succulent hobbyist and fisherman.

It can be a tallish fuzzy-leafed plant from Brazil with spikes of
good-sized, tubular, fragrant white flowers. I know people in good
climates can keep this alive in a 3" / 8cm pot but I sure can't. I tried
to grow it in standard small plastic pots and it wouldn't grow. I also it
never blooms. Then I read about it on the Sinningia and Friends web site:
It is a meadow dweller where it grows through tall grass in summer-wet,
winter-dry soil with very high summer temperatures.

I put a 3.25-inch (8.25cm) square potful into a 24-inch (61cm) terra
plastic pot with very loose soil, 25% potting soil to 75% large particle
perlite, and put it in full Arizona summer sun. The shade-grown leaves
withered away, within days to be replaced by newer, stronger growth. So
long as I kept it watered it grew as vigorously as Bermuda grass and
filled the container within a month. It bloomed continuously all summer,
even with no fertilizer. The leaves become thicker and fuzzier in more
sun, and I think it looks better. Spikes grew to over 2 feet / 60cm tall
and will lean over the edge of the pot if they don't support each other. I
stopped watering to let the tops die down in preparation for this donation
but it was still very hot here, and tubers near the surface died from the
heat. So don't stop watering unless you take it out of the heat. In years
past I have overwintered it dry as a bone in my warm sunroom but last
winter I left it in my carport where it never went dormant and several
times was exposed to below-freezing temperatures with no top damage. Now
that I've replanted the big pot I will leave it in my sunroom and water
all winter.

When unpotted I found sprouting tubers. The long thick underground stems
connecting tubers sprout as easily as the tubers. I wouldn't leave these
tubers unplanted all winter or they will probably shrivel and die. Pot in
a loose mix in the biggest pot you can. Keep warm and moist and provide
the most light possible over the winter. When it's good and warm in spring
put outside in the most sun you can. I think it would look good on top of
a column-style mailbox and I'm going to put it there next year rather what
I had this year: sweet potato color variations with coral fountain
(Russelia equitans), pretty but not a geophyte.

More information about the pbs mailing list