Albuca canadensis

Albuca canadensis (syn. Albuca maxima) There is some controversy over the name A. canadensis and A. maxima due to a misapplication of the name A. canadensis. The name A. canadensis was misused for a species with yellow flowers that we now know as A. flaccida; this fact had been confirmed by John Manning, a researcher of Albuca. The flowers on A. canadensis are white with a green stripe, nodding or drooping with somewhat succulent leaves that are rigid and deeply channeled. It is winter growing with a very short summer dormancy and flowers in late winter and spring. It grows to 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 m). This species also produces copious seed, and has reportedly become naturalized in Italy. The origin of the name canadensis was explored in PBS list discussions here and here. The name was bestowed by Linnaeus (as Ornithogalum canadense Species Plantarum page 308). Although he visited Canada and specialised in plants from there, for this species he was misled by a wrongly labelled plant.

Photo 1 was taken by Paul Tyerman. The rest were taken in habitat. Photos 2-4 were taken by Mary Sue Ittner. Photo 2 was taken in South Africa in August 2001, showing a plant in bud growing in the rocks. Photos 2-4 were taken near Nieuwoudtville in October 2006. Photos 5-6 were taken by Bob Rutemoeller in Namaqualand October 2006.

Albuca canadensis, Paul TyermanAlbuca canadensis, Mary Sue IttnerAlbuca canadensis, Mary Sue IttnerAlbuca canadensis, Mary Sue IttnerAlbuca canadensis, Namaqualand, Bob RutemoellerAlbuca canadensis, Namaqualand, Bob Rutemoeller

The photographs below were taken by Pamela Slate of plants grown from bulbs supplied to BX 139 in February 2007 by Alberto Castillo as Albuca juncifolia, which is a much shorter plant with yellow flowers. The pot is a foot tall and even though the plants flowered, I would recommend a pot 2-3 times this deep, I think that if planted in deeper containers they would grow faster and flower sooner.

Albuca canadensis, March 2010, Pamela SlateAlbuca canadensis, September 2009, Pamela SlateAlbuca canadensis, June 2009, Pamela SlateAlbuca canadensis, March 2010, Pamela Slate

The next set of photos by Pamela Slate show these plants in 2011; the first was taken when flowering was beginning. In full flower the plant was 1.5 m tall from the ground to the tallest inflorescence and had 20 scapes. It flowers over a three-month period.

Albuca canadensis, Pamela SlateAlbuca canadensis, Pamela SlateAlbuca canadensis, Pamela SlateAlbuca canadensis, Pamela Slate

Photographs by David Pilling show seed and a seedling about 21 days after the seed was exposed to moisture at 65 °F, both on a 10 mm grid.

Albuca canadensis seed, David PillingAlbuca canadensis seedling, David Pilling

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Page last modified on August 16, 2015, at 07:14 AM