Ledebouria grandifolia

John Grimshaw john@oltarakwa.co.uk
Sun, 15 Dec 2013 11:03:32 PST
The authors of 'The Ethnoflora of the Soqotra Archipelago' (A. Miller, M.
Morris: RBG Edinburgh 2004) make the interesting observation that 'if
conditions remain humid, the leaves persist, increasing in size, until well
into the following year (January to February).'  At Christmas 1999 they were
certainly quite large, definitely earning the epithet grandifolia. It may
well be that Harry Jans was lucky enough to be on Socotra after a year or
two of good growing conditions when the plants had built up sufficient
reserves to be able to flower well.

The same work notes a photographic record of Ledebouria aff. revoluta on
Socotra made by one Dylan Hannon in 2001: has this ever been confirmed,

John Grimshaw

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of Hannon
Sent: 15 December 2013 18:23
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Ledebouria grandifolia

The flowers appear Ledebouria-like to me, albeit more showy than usual. An
internet search shows very well an isotype of H. grandifolius, with the
broad leaf blades abruptly narrowed to a slender petiole, closely resembling
some eriospermums. Haemanthus leaves are broad and truncate at the base
(leaf pairs forming a 'seam') although Balfour was likely referring to what
we now call Scadoxus, which have leaf blades attenuated at the base. Harry
Jans's lovely photo taken in Oct/Nov would be at the beginning of the (main)
winter rainy season, with leaves just emerging.
Flowers may also appear, perhaps more typically, before the leaves (like
Haemanthus). Therefore it is not surprising that the type gathering was
sterile (no flowers or fruits) and it was thought to be a Haemanthus rather
than a squill.

By all accounts L. grandifolia is a difficult plant to maintain in
cultivation. Bulbs collected by John Lavranos on the 1967 inter-disciplinary
expedition to Socotra reportedly withered away over a period of years. My
own experience is that it will remain dormant for 2-4 years at a time, even
with coaxing by autumn watering, producing a leaf or two when it is in the
mood and not otherwise.

Dylan Hannon

On 15 December 2013 09:59, Tim Harvey <zigur@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Those plants have rather un-Ledebouria-like flowers, to me. Does 
> anyone have a copy of the protologue for L. grandifolia? I wonder how 
> they linked a sterile type specimen to living material?
>  T
> > I saw Ledebouria grandifolia on Socotra in December 1999, but it 
> > wasn't
> in
> > flower: the pictures shown on Harry Jan's website
> > http://jansalpines.com/gallery/main.php/… of it
> flowering
> > are therefore of great interest. When I saw it the leaves were 
> > expanded
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*"If this is all we can do, maybe we had better do it-- and see if there is
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