Cyrtanthus (montanus x elatus)?

Ken K
Fri, 22 Nov 2002 20:05:36 PST
Mary Sue, Jim, and all,

I have a bulb labeled Cyrtanthus (montanus x elatus) which I bought
from Jim Duggan in the spring of 2001. That year it bloomed midsummer,
on a very short stalk - so short, in fact, that if the plant had not
been in a pot, the flowers would have been lying on the ground. This
year it bloomed once during the early summer on a short scape, and is
blooming again right now on a 14" scape. Here is a link to a photo of
the current scape. 


Jim, does this appear to be the same plant you have? Do you know the
hybridizer? It is slightly less saturated in color (more orange, less
red) than the picture shows. I have never set a seed on it, although
my only attempts were using its own pollen.

The bulb is almost evergreen here if I remember correctly, and I leave
it out in the elements year-round, where it receives full sun and a
wet winter. In the summer, I feed it regularly with an organic liquid
fertilizer (12-6-6) at half-strength.

It was in a 1-gallon nursery container, then I moved it up to a
2-gallon early this spring, separately potting a few offsets. A few
weeks ago I noticed that the largest of the offsets had lost its
leaves, and when I investigated, I found a B-B sized hole in the basal
plate. I sliced the bulb in half vertically, and discovered that the
heart had been consumed by a large white grub. I put the rooted basal
plate and the bulb scales that were still attached to it (all dusted
with Captan) in a pot, where I hope to generate a few more offsets. I
put the other half of the bulb's scales against the glass of a quart
Mason jar of potting mix with a screen top, adding the grub, creating
my very own Narcissus Bulb Fly Farm. This is not the first time a Bulb
Fly larvae has attacked an Amaryllid here. I lost a Cyrtanthus elatus
and a Stenomesson variegatum within the last three years.

Ken Kehl
East S.F. Bay Area, Ca.
USDA Zone 9
-2°C to 38°C

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