Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 23 Sep 2002 17:43:55 PDT
Dear All,

Bill Dijk has posted several pictures of his Ferrarias on a couple of the 
images lists with the information below about them. It made me remember 
that Lauw de Jager told me last year that if you want Ferrarias and (South 
African) Oxalis to bloom well you need to plant them early. My Ferrarias 
are just now starting to come up. I never could get F. uncinata to bloom 
until I planted it in a raised bed. I think it needed a deeper container 
than I was providing. In a raised bed it soon took over and reproduced 
rapidly. It bloomed a long time however and the flies looked funny covered 
with orange pollen. When we visited South Africa last year we never saw a 
lot of Ferrarias at once so I am wondering if there is a predator there 
that keeps them at bay.

Mary Sue

 From Bill for those not signed up to the Images lists where this 
information was posted:

A genus of 10 species of medium sized bulbous plants natives of S.Africa 
and Angola with curious spotted, crisp-edged starlike flowers, resembling a 
       These evanescence flowers range in unusual odd colours, from dusky 
shades of brown to yellow, violet and blue or combinations of all of these 
colours, and the scent of the blooms can vary from unpleasant to 
reminiscent of carrion and sweet almond.
       It flowers from winter to spring, with several  flowers opening, few 
at a time, over a long period of weeks, each one remaining open for two days.
       They are easy bulbs to grow and enjoy a loamy soil in sun or 
semi-shade, but uncommon species are best grown in pots or containers to 
ensure success.
       The hard flat corms can soon build up to large clumps.
       Very unusual flowers but unfortunately very rare in cultivation 
except perhaps Ferraria crispa.
       BTW: an extra bonus is the capturing of the flies attracted by the 
peculiar smell of the flowers, the red pollen can be clearly seen on the 
back of the flies as they brush past and collect the pollen from the 
anthers , and so the insects are the chief agents to secure another crop of 
seed  for the continuation of the species.

       Best wishes,

       Bill D.  Tauranga,  New-Zealand 

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