Massonia/Polyxena and others

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:48:37 PST
Dear Jim,

There was a very recent revision of Massonia and Daubneya and I haven't gotten them all sorted out yet. We saw lots of Androcymbiums in South Africa and I really liked them just because they were so weirdly different. I think Peter Maynard was growing one with a common name three men in a boat. And I remember your wondering last year what yours was and I think we decided it was not Androcymbium pulchrum (what you said it was labeled as last year), but a Polyxena, maybe ensifolia.

Thanks to Georgie's help and Alberto who wrote "Involute, canaliculate means leaf edges folded inwards, like a pipe in which you cut a length wards section not reaching the diameter" I examined my plants and I think they must be Polyxena longituba. So I need to mark them before I forget and have to go through this again. They have a turquoise stripe on the outside of the pink flowers. Last year there was only one flower per plant and this year there are more. It was interesting that this plant is  described as self pollinating because when I went to look at it a bee that was larger than the flowers was visiting each flower. It could barely get in the flowers without pulling the flower over. I tried to take a picture with my regular camera, but a white flower and a black bee may not equal a good picture. I'll see if Bob can get a picture with his digital camera to post of the Massonia pustulata plants that are both pustulate and smooth. In younger years they were all smooth.

When we were discussing Daubneya in the topic of the week, it was mentioned that it might not like to be out of soil for very long. The red ones are such a great color and they are found in one of the colder parts of South Africa so I'd think it would be a good one for you to try. I seem to remember something in either the IBSA journal or bulb chat with advice on it. If I find that reference I will share it. Maybe Rachel remembers.

Mary Sue

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