Schizostylis - friend or foe!!

Diane Whitehead
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 23:37:42 PST
Runners to a metre in Australia!  They are rhizomatous here, but stay 
in tight clumps on clay soil, and are a bit looser on sand, but never 
even 20 cm.long.  Maybe Australia received a long-rhizome form.

Plants regularly died here, and I thought it was winter cold.  Then I 
saw pictures of them along streams in South Africa, and realized they 
had died of drought.  Now I water them during the summer. The clumps 
get really big in time.  They flower from just after midsummer to 
hard frost which we don't get every year, so we can usually find a 
flower no matter when we go out to look.  They make a bright enough 
show to notice from a car driving past in late summer through fall, 
but during the winter the flowers are more sparse.

In the past, people here talked about having Mrs Hegarty, and 
Viscountess Byng, and these were passed around among friends. More 
recently, Oregon Sunset has been sold in garden centres. Last year 
Brentwood Bay Nursery began selling their propagator Judith 
McLauchlan's selection, 'Blushing Trixie' (named for the author of 
Nancy Drew books, I think).  I think it is white rimmed with pink.
(Alan, you could ask Judith at )

My plants came from 1991 seed labelled "deep pink form" from the 
University of British Columbia Botanic Garden.  A range of colours 
from pale pink through salmon to red resulted, and flower size and 
flowering times varied. Most had about 12 to 15 flower buds per stem, 
but one had 20.  I particularly liked a large-flowered pale pink with 
a darker line in the centre of each petal, and thought I could 
further develop that line.  So far it hasn't increased in width in 
any of my seedlings, though.

I have had a couple of 'albas', which seem to have died out.  I 
didn't plant them in a very good spot, though, so I think I should 
try again.

Now that the river lily has been moved to Hesperantha, I have ordered 
Hesperantha seed from Silverhill with a view to broader hybridizing. 
Figured I could add some perfume from H. bachmannii, pauciflora or 
radiata, since Schizostylis makes such a nice cutflower for such a 
long period, all it lacks is a scent.

Diane Whitehead  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8
cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
sandy soil

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