Cyrtanthus hybrids

Cameron McMaster
Sat, 30 Nov 2002 08:09:25 PST
Ken and Jim

I have two Cyrtanthus hybrids, the one is also elatus x montanus, a more or less upward-facing flower head with open flowers, and a prolific bulbil-producer, given to me by a friend.  The other looks just like the one Ken has on the web site, parentage not quite clear, but it is a hybrid called 'Venus' bred and distributed a few years ago by Hadeco in SA.  I bought bulbs in a supermarket.  It tends to have feint streaks in the leaves and I haven't yet decided if it is virussed or not.  Do your leaves show this tendency?  Mine have been like that ever since I got them, but they have been growing well and flowering well for about three years now.  It also multiplies well, but not as fast as the elatus x montanus.  'Venus' is flowering here at the moment, so I will ask Cameron to photograph it with his digital camera and send it to IBS Images.  Give us a day or two!

Both these hybrids never set seed, despite careful hand pollination.

Herbertia 1997 Vol 52, p. 159 mentions F. Holford as having done many crosses, apparently also montanus x elatus.  I wonder if 'Venus' isn't the same cross mentioned on p. 158 between elatus x fergusoniae.  Graham Duncan at Kirstenbosch has made this cross too, and says it retains the vegetative habit of elatus (Veld & Flora Vol. 76,3 1990).

Rhoda E. Cape

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