Crinum minimum in bloom tonight!

Jacob Knecht
Tue, 22 May 2012 22:51:08 PDT

My partner Nhu Nguyen and I wanted to share this happy event with other
bulb aficionados:

This rare desert gem opened it's flower a few hours ago and is currently
emitting a powerful, fresh, pleasant scent, not unlike that of Brugmansia
suaveolens.  The flower will close by tomorrow morning.  There is a slight
chance it may try to re-open the following night, but in my experience this
species' 2nd showing is not as spectacular with a weaker form and
fragrance.  This is the third consecutive blooming from this bulb in three
years.  What a treat!

Crinum minimum is the smallest Crinum species in South Africa and is at
least one of the smallest in the world.  I actually think that it is indeed
the smallest, but if there is one smaller I hope someone will point it out
to me.  Leaves 6-10cm long and 1-2mm wide with entire margins emerge from
this petite bulb.  This species has singular adaptations, entirely unique
among SA Crinum.  It inhabits hot and dry places that have prolonged
droughts where the only rain arrives via erratic thunderstorms which can
occur from Oct to April (Northwest Province).  The leaves behave in the
manner of  Ammocharis coranica, dying back if it is too dry but returning
in the same season when more water is available.  Also this species will
remain completely dormant and never grow leaves unless rainfall is
sufficient, skipping consecutive years.┬╣

┬╣Craib C. 1997. Crinum minimum: One of South Africa's Most Unusual Bulbous
Plants. Herbertia 52: 101-108.

Check out these pictures, taken moments ago:……

To keep up with my botanical blogging, bookmark my flickr :)  I also just
started a tumblr <> for those who are into


Berkeley, California

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