Bulbs with curly leaves

Leo A. Martin leo@possi.org
Sun, 11 Nov 2012 09:55:11 PST
Diana Chapman wrote

> I remember having read somewhere [having curly leaves is] an adaptation
> to a dry environment. Does anyone have anything to say about this?
> Do the leaves tighten and relax according to sun/heat/drought?

Here in arid, sunny Phoenix, many curly-leaved bulbs display their true
circinality. Some of these same plants grown by my friends in southern
California do not become so curly.

What are called Albuca circinalis and A. spiralis always start growing
here in August or early September, when temperatures are far too high to
put them outside in the sun. As a result the first set of leaves is quite
lax. When it cools down enough to put them into full sun, the new leaves
display the more characteristic form.

Unfortunately A. "spiralis" is hysteranthous, flowering before leafing
out, and I can't get seed on the plants because even in the house, the
inflorescences wither in the heat. It does offset slowly with age.

My one Gethyllis almost does this, but it emerges somewhat later (two
weeks ago) so I can usually get it outside before the leaves expand. I
wish it would flower every year but it does not. I have tried to self it
and also tried its own frozen pollen from the previous year without

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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