Paramongaia weberbaueri & Lapeirousia oreogena

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 19 Aug 2002 07:32:27 PDT
Dear All,

Bill Dijk has posted some gorgeous pictures on the Bulbs_Images list of 
Paramongaia weberbaueri and Lapeirousia oreogena. He has also written about 
them so for the sake of you who have not subscribed to that list I will 
post his comments after I ask my questions.

In Pasadena at the IBS meeting after resisting for the first couple of 
days, I finally bought a Paramongaia weberbaueri bulb. Then I got home and 
reread what people had written about it in the past. Many of those people 
are on this list. To summarize what was written in the past, this beautiful 
bulb is very hard to grow and flower. There were quite a few frustrated 
folks. For some it naturally starts into growth in the northern hemisphere 
in October, November. It doesn't seem to grow very long before it goes 
dormant and can easily be killed with too much water. A man from Canada had 
found he was most successful getting it to grow starting in February when 
the temperatures were warmer where he lived. Paul Chapman's grew in summer 
(but did not bloom.) Alberto told us that this plant needed a dry winter 
dormancy. Someone else said it got a scorching hot summer and a cold wet 
winter. After reading everything I saved (write me privately if you were 
not part of the past discussions and want the thread ), I was totally confused and wished I had not 
suffered from bulb greed. The good news is that I only bought one. I potted 
it in a very sandy gritty mix in a deep pot and put it in my greenhouse for 
the summer. But I did not water it. My question: when should I water it? 
Did anyone else buy one of these in Pasadena and if so, what is/was your 

I also love that Lapeirousia that Bill has a picture of that I saw last 
August in Nieuwoudtville. But I have a lot of trouble getting Lapeirousia 
seeds to germinate and live. Since I have a couple of packages of seeds of 
this genus to start this fall/winter advice on that would be appreciated as 
well. Last year I think one seed of L. oreogena was all I got to come up. 
The only one that I have been able to grow well (but not flower yet) is 
Lapeirousia corymbosa and it has been multiplying like rabbits so in view 
of my other failures with this genus I can't wait for it to bloom to find 
out if it is really what it is supposed to be.

And now Bill's message:

Hi folks,

Here are a couple of species not well known, but very welcome this time of
the season when not much is in flower except for the daffodils.
The first one is Paramongaia weberbaueri, a genus from Peru, growing on
steep hillsides in well-drained deep scree, or decomposing granite.
IT will make an excellent pot plant if you can get it to flower, which is
not easy.
Suppose to flower in late Summer but can be very variable, with flowers
appearing for us as early as late Winter -early Spring.
Flowers resemble large yellow daffodils with a very delicate fragrance.
Not hardy, needs a glass-house in colder climates.

Lapeirousia oreogena: a colourful species from Nieuwoudtville  South-Africa,
which produces masses of intense, tiny dark violet flowers, on 10 cm long
long stems in late Winter, a welcome addition when there is not much colour
around this time of the season.
Quite spectacular on a sunny day. Needs perfect drainage to be successful.

Bill D.

Tauranga  New Zealand

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