A.b. Les Hannibal report

Michael Mace mikemace@worldnet.att.net
Sun, 25 Aug 2002 01:25:35 PDT
Cathy C. wrote:

>>Just hiked back down to check on the Amaryllis belladonnas from Les

It's interesting that you're getting some whites in bloom first.  They tend
to bloom last for me.

I have two medium pinks in bloom (nothing special), and one that's darker
pink and has a higher bud-count (unfortunately the flowers are narrower than
typical, and all point to one side).

At least eight more bulbs are in bud, including an excellent and very
reliable dark pink from the old BioQuest bulb operation (the individual
flowers on that one are a little smaller than some varieties, but the color
is intense and the flower head is more spherical than most).  Four of the
bulbs in bud, and the three in bloom currently, are from the big digging
trip to Mr. Hannibal's place.  There doesn't appear to be any pattern to
which ones are blooming -- some are in moister areas, some are in very dry
soil.  Several in the richest and moistest soil do not show signs of flowers

I obtained some bulbs from Mr. Hannibal in 1998 and have been playing around
with crossing them ever since.  Today I dug up all of the 1999 crosses (21
different combinations).  All but three of the crosses have survived.  The
bulbs range in size from slightly smaller than golf balls to less than a
marble (grrr).  At this rate, it will be another 2-3 years at least before
any of them bloom.

In one area of the seedling bed, the soil is kept fairly constantly moist by
runoff from the neighbor's watering.  The bulbs in this area may be a little
larger than the others, and they sure don't look like they suffered from
being wet all summer for the last three years.

Sad news:  When we all made the digging trip to Mr. Hannibal's place, one of
his daughters pointed me to a seed head and said, "that one's a reverse
bicolor."  I wasn't sure what a reverse bicolor Multiflora would look like,
but I hung onto the seeds and planted them in a safe place.  Several of them
sprouted, but when I checked today it looks like none have survived.

Ah well, there are plenty of other strange experiments to try.  For the last
two years, I have been trying to get pollen of various Nerines to set seeds
on the Multifloras.  I have had no success at all, so this year I am trying
a trick suggested by someone online -- I used an X-Acto knife to cut the
style short, and dabbed stored pollen directly on the stub.

Fortunately, the neighbors could see none of this.  Otherwise I'd probably
be writing to you from a padded cell.

Anyone who wants some pollen from these flowers is welcome to contact me
privately.  I'd love to get some Brunsvigia pollen to see if it'll take on
the flowers here (I'm growing my own Brunsvigias, but from what I hear it'll
be another decade or so before they give me any pollen).

San Jose, CA  (zone 9, min temp 20F)

PS:  I was down in San Diego with my family a couple of weeks ago.  The Wild
Animal Park had lots of Amaryllis and Crinum in bloom at that time.

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