Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 14 Apr 2003 20:48:27 PDT
Dear All,

Who in the group grows Babiana? There must be some people who grow this 
one. My Ortho book shows that it would do well in California and Oregon and 
be possible in Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and most of 
the South.

We know some of you grow it in Australia too. I was interested in Rachel's 
comments about the trouble telling them apart. I have really struggled with 
some of the ones I grow that were grown from seed and are presumably a 
species. If I look in my books there are different descriptions for the 
same thing.

I have found Babianas happier in the ground or a raised bed than in a 
container even though you read that they can be grown in containers. Some 
of them are a little too prolific however. On the other hand my Babiana 
curviscapa is very slow to increase. Every year I hope it will bloom when 
it isn't raining because I think it is so beautiful. Rain here sometimes 
wipes out the blooms. Babiana villosa is another stunner, especially the 
red one.

I've not had luck with some of them I have grown from seed. Germination 
isn't the problem, but growing to blooming has been. The first time I grew 
them from seed I am sure I got blooms within a year, but I've never been 
able to duplicate that. I think they need deeper pots right away or maybe 
to be planted out. Some of them I have tried may have wanted less rain as 
well. In spite of that I have a number of them that bloom reliably every year.

I have added quite a few pictures to the wiki page:…

Some of them are plants I grow in my garden and some are of plants we saw 
in bloom in South Africa. There are also pictures there taken by Doug 
Westfall, Sheila Burrow, Lyn Edwards, Dirk Wallace, and Mary Wise. Check 
them out.

Rachel, I have had a plant for a long time which blooms reliably in winter 
and smells like cinnamon and came to me as Babiana nana var. angustifolia. 
I have a picture of it on the wiki. Is this name correct or is it something 
else? There is a mention of it in Spring and Winter Flowering Bulbs of the 
Cape, but I haven't seen it mentioned any other place.

I'd also like people to take a look at my species pictures on the wiki and 
see if anyone could identify them. Or could they be B. stricta hybrids? 
Also the plant I got as Babiana disticha doesn't have any yellow in it. One 
of my books says it can be without yellow and others that describe it as 
either yellow or marked with yellow. Does it look right?

Anyone have any tips for photographing Babiana angustifolia? They always 
come out looking so dark and even if you lighten them the red that you can 
see when looking at them doesn't show in the picture.

Thanks for any answers and I hope the others who grow Babiana will 
contribute to this TOW.

Mary Sue
Between rain storms where the Moraeas (Homeria group) are adding masses of 
color and where my first Calochortus venustus opened today and Geissorhiza 
monanthos and Lapeirousia corymbosa have
been awesome and where I have five blooming pots of different Leucocorynes 
(yea summer in the greenhouse to help them bloom). Brodiaeas, 
Dichelostemmas, and Triteleias are also starting to bloom. Showers are 
forecast through Friday however.


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