Alberto Castillo ezeizabotgard@hotmail.com
Sat, 24 Aug 2002 10:55:45 PDT
Dear Jane et al:
              Concerning  Tecophilaeas, there is some confusion on their 
requirements. T. violiflora which is a charming little flowered plant, grows 
in frost free sunny conditions in gritty soil in N. Chile. There it receives 
rainfall from April to November (mid Autumn to mid Spring) and not a single 
drop until next April. There is considerable variation in color forms from 
slaty pale blue to a deep violet.  If you grow Geissorhizas successfully, 
you will grow it to perfection under the same conditions.
              T. cyanocrocus (which became extinct by collecting) grew 
higher in the mountains of Chile and more to the south and therefore hardie 
than violiflora. It can be grown to perfection in climates that are chilly 
in winter and where frosts are slight, say like the hilly country around San 
Francisco Bay. It needs a lot of sun and gritty soil with plenty of root 
              There is good evidence that both do not belong to the same 
genus. Both have whitish small corms.
               Gilliesia and related genera are all rare and even botanists 
never found one in the wild. They are not showy in the normal sense but the 
flower structure is fascinating . Any experience one can gain in growing 
them may be crucial for the survival of those rarities.

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