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Messages - Mikent

This was purchased by a relative at a local plant sale. Labeled as unknown Amaryllis.

Can anyone tell me the name of the hybrid? This is the second bloom for the year. The first showed some large cristate-type growths on some of the petals/sepals, so maybe it was the result of someone's attempt at breeding a double flower, and not a recognized hybrid. 
Current Photographs / Re: June 2024
June 07, 2024, 01:49:09 PM
Hippeastrum hybrid called Lagoon. This is the third time it has bloomed in the last six months. The current bloom is actually a carmine pink color. The smart phone camera shifted the color into the carmine red zone.

In previous years, it has always bloomed as a saturated carmine red color. This is the first time it has been more carmine pink. The first blooming (late December) was interesting. The blooms were a mix of carmine red and carmine pink. It looked kind of like a watercolor painting, the more color saturated areas showed as carmine red, the less saturated as carmine pink. I was worried it might be an early sign of virus infection. Both the second blooming (later March) and third (just dying off now - this picture is from May 30) were carmine pink with no carmine red shading. No sign of any viral issues. Maybe the weird coloration was a result of warmer winter temps than previous years?
Current Photographs / Re: May 2024
May 25, 2024, 11:56:33 AM
The flowers look a bit large for plain Habranthus robustus. Probably Habranthus robustus 'Russell Manning.'

In Z6 Finger Lakes where it is currently raining torrentially.
Current Photographs / Re: April 2024
April 04, 2024, 12:05:54 PM
Looks like something made a snack out of your lizard's tail...
Current Photographs / Re: January 2024
January 15, 2024, 07:10:05 AM
Hippeastrum anzaldoi in bloom now. The same bulb bloomed in late July/Early August, not sure why it decided to bloom again now. But, no complaints!

Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures. I'm using a new camera. One of the crappy new Minolta's (yes, the one with the big fake lens that actually has a tiny real lens hidden inside it). Still playing around trying to figure out how to get the best quality shots with it.

Mike in Zone 6 Finger Lakes region where, days later, the 60 MPH wind gusts have finally stopped
General Off-Topic / Vote for the 2023 Fat Bear
October 04, 2023, 03:40:59 AM
Fat Bear Week is back!

(Warning: Fat shaming and gambling may be referenced on the above site.)
General Discussion / Re: Spider whisperers
September 26, 2023, 07:50:16 AM
@David Pilling

I can't do pictures for this year. The colder temperatures earlier this month killed off the spiders - at least the grass spiders, still plenty of normal spider webs around.

If you want to see funnel weaver or grass spider webs, there are plenty of photos online. Just make sure you enter the name as funnel weaver spider, not funnel-web spider. The funnel-web spider is an Aussie denizen, not US. If you see pictures of a large black spider with a sac-like rear end, that's the funnel-web. Funnel weavers are narrow, with brown and tan coloration. There's a stripe down the center of the carapace.

One of the few websites I've found that shows clusters of the webs instead of a closeup of one web is here:

The spiders I'm dealing with have somewhat thicker webs. Don't know if that's due to being a related species to pictured spiders' webs (Tennessee is 450ish miles South of me (well, SW)), being right above the beach, and therefore breezier, or something else. Most the webs I see are opaque where you can only see vague shadows of foliage (or whatever) underneath the web. In the first picture on the site, you can see one leaf of what looks like lily-of-the-valley sticking up out of the web. That's typical of the funnel weaver webs - the entire web is horizontal, anything vertical will have the web built around it (and usually anchored to it). If the web is left alone, they will add layers to it daily, until it become more like a piece of fabric (silkish) (where I presume the other common name of carpet spider came from). Their everyday webs are thick enough that if a breeze comes along, the entire web, or at least a section thereof, will flap in the breeze, but remain anchored in place.

General Discussion / Re: Uli - unidentified Cyrtanthus
September 26, 2023, 07:05:49 AM

Thanks. I'll see if I can get a picture of the bulb to you. Once we get a day with some actual sunlight - it's been dark and drizzly for a few days.

General Discussion / Re: Uli - unidentified Cyrtanthus
September 24, 2023, 02:03:45 AM

No, mine have never flowered for me. I have noticed that the bulbs are at their plumpest in late Winter (end of February). Bad time of year for me to be providing them with any stimulus that might result in blooms as they're under grow-lights in the basement at that point. Usually, after a month or so of being really plump and glossy, the outer layer of the bulb dries out a bit, and another batch of bulbils starts pushing through around the base of the bulb.

I can't recall any of the bulbs (bulbils, or one of the two large bulbs) ever having had more than one leaf at any time.

I gave my sister, who lives in the Dallas, Texas area, some bulbils recently. Maybe she will be more sucessful with providing enough stimuli to achieve blooms. Or, maybe I'll break down one of these days, and send a batch of bulbils in for a DNA analysis.

General Discussion / Uli - unidentified Cyrtanthus
September 23, 2023, 05:26:23 PM
@Uli Urban

I'm updating my labels prior to bringing bulbs in for the Winter. Was the Cyrtanthus sp. bulb you received from John Lavranos in 2014 ever identified?

I received it in BX 440 (2018), but I've seen it listed in a number of other BXes as well.

Thank you for your time and generosity.

Oh, umm, should I have entered this under Mystery Bulbs?


General Discussion / Spider whisperers
September 23, 2023, 03:27:36 PM
I'm having some issues with Grass Spiders (aka Funnel-Web Spiders or Carpet Spiders). I live on a lake (Finger Lakes in Western New York State). High humidity levels lead to lots of bugs. Lots of bugs leads to lots of spiders.

My collection of plants (largely Amaryllids) are in pots. They Winter in the basement, and then are mostly spread out along the top of the breakwall for the Summer. For the last six or seven years, I've has Grass Spiders colonizing most of the plants that are in the full sun. The 'carpet' of their webs gets so thick that I'm worried the plants aren't getting enough sun, although none have been killed off by the spiders yet (can't say the same for the squirrels).

I usually end up removing the web-carpet daily, which can be a major pain. Most of the carpets do reach the three foot maximum coverage (per my web research) by mid-July. Is there some herb or something I can grow, or sprinkle on the plants, to repel the spiders? I'm not interested in killing them, I want them eating as many bugs as they can. I just don't want them constantly burying my plants in webs.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can render.
General Discussion / Re: Bulb sourcing
August 30, 2023, 02:22:17 PM

Where are you located? US, Europe?


Mystery Bulbs / Re: Eremurus possibly?
June 27, 2023, 10:30:08 AM
I bought  3 large starfish-shaped roots for $8 from and planted in Nov 2014 in a part-shade part of my Berkeley, CA, garden, but I haven't seen them since then. If so, this would be a miracle revival from the supposed-dead, 9 years later.

It was a starfish-shaped rootstock in contention 9 years ago, Arnold. No idea what rootstock this sudden emergence is connected to...
Thank you David and Marc for the responses.

I will be trying the procedure outlined in your link, David. I've had success with a process close to it previously, but it seemed a bit too much hit or miss. The randomness also could have been due to using homemade rooting compound. I've got a few willows in the yard, so fresh green willow switches are easy to obtain.
General Discussion / Scilla madeirensis propagation
June 03, 2023, 11:14:03 AM
I have 2 pots of Scilla madeirensis. As I was moving the pots outside today (frost free date in the area is 5-31), a rogue gust of wind snapped two of the stems off slightly above the bulbs. I now have two foot long(ish) leaves that are in very nice shape (plus a few somewhat more roughly used leaves that I already tossed).

It seems a shame to just toss the two good looking leaves. What would be the method of treatment most likely to result in either bulblets, or rooted leaf segments?


In Finger Lakes region, 6A, where we still haven't had any rain yet (last rain was 15 days ago). Although it looked like pending rain first thing this morning, that resolved into a blustery, but clear, day. Anything right up near the lake is getting a bit drenched due to all the waves crashing ashore, but more than a few feet back, it's still crispy.