Bulbs that flower without leaves--TOW

Kelly Irvin bulbmeister@bulbmeister.com
Mon, 04 Aug 2003 07:13:28 PDT
Mary Sue:

I've just returned from out-of-town to find a bunch of interesting 
messages hitting and missing (i.e. discussion of other species) on my 
favorite subject, Lycoris. Being a late arrival, I hope what follows 
isn't just a rehash. I consider all Lycoris to fit very well into the 
flowering without leaves category. I have heard of Lycoris radiata 
holding foliage through to bloom in the Houston area, but I have never 
seen this, nor do I know if it is true. The fall foliage group of 
Lycoris seem to fit the "breaking dormancy with bloom" category the best 
of the Lycoris, but, as has been said, some of these will still bloom 
weeks ahead of the first sign of foliage. In all cases, though, I would 
not consider the bloom to be the ACTUAL initiator of the new growing 
season, but the foliage. Of course, spring foliage species won't begin 
to show foliage until late winter. Generally speaking, most Lycoris will 
not have foliage until the bloom spike has at least initiated growth.

As has been said before, probably by Jim W., Lycoris can take some time 
to "find their feet", especially if received in a state stripped of 
their roots. Even dormant, these bulbs do not actually lose their roots, 
so to receive them in a rootless state seems to require the gardener be 
patient in letting the bulb spend a season (or even 2), establishing a 
good root system. Last year, I purchases L. squamigera from a local 
grower, dug them in July and replanted within a few days. Foliage 
reached about half-height this spring, bloom is sporadic now and at half 
to 3/4 height. Who knows how much time one might take to adjust to a 
different hemisphere. I have found Lycoris to be EXTREMELY tough bulbs 
to kill, though, which is much appreciated by me, a green thumb with 
plenty of brown mottled throughout.

L. squamigera first flush are in full bloom at this moment. Second flush 
should begin bloom this week. L. longituba is just now sending up spikes 
(one has bloomed already). I had a sole spike of L. sanguinea var. 
kiusiana bloom last week and L. sanguinea (probably var. sanguinea) 
should begin blooming this week (only one spike so far). I have had a 
very small lot of these, but just received a new shipment to be planted 
in the next few weeks. L. xhaywardii are done for the season, L. 
straminea is in bloom and L. xhoudyshelii, also. I'm in Lycoris heaven 
right now.

I sure would like to find a good source (50-1000 bulbs) for Lycoris 
incarnata (peppermint surprise lily). Leads would be appreciated very much.

Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> Dear All,
> The topic this week was inspired by an unanswered question on another 
> bulb list and that was which bulbs flower without leaves.

Mr. Kelly M. Irvin
The Bulbmeister
4407 Town Vu Road
Bentonville, AR 72712

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6b

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