Jim McKenney
Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:56:52 PDT
Sorry about the gap in my email message - there was an interruption here and I didn't notice that a big chunk was missing. I was going to re-post, but instead I'll keep an eye on the direction of this thread and fill in as is appropriate. 
The basic thought I was trying to develop was that a person's concept of what "plant" means will influence, maybe determine, the understanding they have of what monocarpic means. In my point of view, a clone made up of multiple entities is still only one plant. 

Philip, I took a look at your website. I'm willing to bet that the plant you have illustrated as Cardiocrinum cathayanum is in fact C. giganteum yunnanense.
I have never seen C. cathayanum, and I wonder if it is really in cultivation in European or North American collections. In any case, it's easily distinguished from C. giganteum and its forms. The large leaves of C. cordatum and C. cathyanum are grouped in a false whorl about a foot above the ground. The large leaves of C. giganteum and its forms are spread all along the flowering stem, graduated in size from large at the bottom to small at the top.
If someone out there thinks they have the true C. cathayanum, please speak up!
And how did I germinate the Cardiocrinum seeds? In this case, they were planted in a cold frame exposed to all weather in the fall of 2009. No germination was seen in 2010. But the seeds are germinating freely now. Philip, you might be interested to know that the seed was exposed to temperatures down to -16 C during the winter of 2009 and down to -11 C during the winter of 2010. This lot of seed was harvested in 2009 from a locally grown plant.
Jim McKenney 

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