Colchicaceaes and Calydorea

Cathy Craig
Wed, 10 Jul 2002 08:38:35 PDT
Dear everyone,

I also have L. modesta that I bought at a nursery (about $6 or 8 for the one
bulb!) in July of 00 and it lives in a one gallon plastic pot in the shade.
This is a very interesting plant, a relative of the lily. The first year it
attained a height of 5 ft and bloomed with perhaps three or four orange
bells. This year it is currently eight ft tall and has branched at 5 ft,
blooming at the branching with seven bells, and then one bloom a foot out on
the branch. The main stem is now at eight feet, the branch at about 18 in,
with both continuing to attenuate.

This plant grows with a single stem, its dark-green narrow and pointed
leaves forming whorls, from a rounded and roughly triangular very hard bulb
and must be staked as it is completely herbaceous, the stem firm but not
stiff. It is difficult to stake properly and gets very top heavy very fast.
Once it gets going, it also grows very fast. To me the bells look
Fritillaria-like in shape and F. imperialis orange-colored.

I don't know the pollenator but it produced seed last year which I sent the
BX or SX. While I did not intend to start any seed myself, I found one left
over after the packet went off and so I simply stuck it into the pot with
the mother plant and said "good luck". Today I have a little plantlette
about 2 or 3 inches tall so apparently the seed will germinate outdoors
after 9 or 10 months.

Each of the seven flowers now has a seed pod. They ripen slowly and have
only 1-3 seeds in each pod but this is a neat plant requiring practically no
maintenance and practically no water while dormant and I will send Dell the
seeds it produces and you can get it from the SX whenever the time is right.
Do try it!

Mary Sue wrote:
> I had found a tuber in one of my pots last year that didn't really look
> like any other tuber I had. I grow Gloriosa and Sandersonia (the latter
> courtesy of Dirk Wallace and the IBS BX a number of years ago). They are
> two of the few summer growers I grow. This plant had leaves that looked
> like a Gloriosa, but the tuber was different. It didn't bloom. I thought it
> must be a Gloriosa and marked it as such. Today when it bloomed I found I
> had a Littonia modesta. In my records I have recorded that I started seed
> of this 3/21/99 and next to the date up I have typed, never. So I guess I
> need to change that. I am very pleased to have this plant.

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