Worsleya rayneri

Bill Dijk daffodil@wave.co.nz
Sat, 01 Feb 2003 03:31:10 PST
Dear All,

Great excitement in our nursery at the moment.
For the first time, since we started taking an interest in this species, our
Worsleya rayneri ( Empress of Brazil) is flowering for us.
This magnificent native of Brazil is not one of the easiest plants to grow,
and to flower.
It is very exact in its requirements, regarding its potting medium, care and
This large spectacular plant is unfortunately rare in cultivation, which is
a pity, it would make a splendid pot plant.
With its clusters of gorgeous lilac-blue flowers, speckled mauve within, in
mid-summer on stems up to 1.5 meters tall, it makes a real show-stopper.
Fertilization only occur when pollen of another clone is present or
In its native habitat these plants grow on steep granite cliffs, fully
exposed to wind, rain and sunshine, constantly subjected to mist from
Successful cultivation depends on providing suitable conditions.
A position in bright light, not necessary full sun, ( morning sun) would
suit best.
Opinions on the medium and how to grow this beautiful plant , range from a
very fibrous mix of tree-ferns, to coconut husks, with alternative layers
of scoria chips to orchid bark, or mixed with peat, pumice or rock-chips,
supplemented with slow-release, well balanced NPK (+ trace-elements)
As long as the (soil) -potting mix is well-drained, aerated and slightly on
the acid side, this should give excellent results.
Worsleya rayneri makes an suitable container plant, the medium should be
watered sparingly in winter, gradually increasing the moisture supply as the
temperatures rise, until flooding regularly in mid-summer.
Fresh seed when available is the best method of increase, it should be sown
20-25°C and covered lightly.
Germination takes about 4 weeks, but will be about nine years before the
first flower appears.

Best wishes

Bill D.

BTW: also flowering at the moment is the dwarf Brunsvigia comptonii (up to
15 cm),
another first flowering, see pictures at the PBS, AB and IBS images groups.
Will try to upload to the Wiki as well, when I get the hang of it.

Tauranga, New Zealand :annual rainfall :1250 mm.
Sunshine hours, mean annual  :  2350 hours.
Temp.mean max.Summer : 25°C.   winter:///15°C/.
Temp.mean min. Summer :14.5°C. Winter: 5°C.
Wet mild Winters with occasional light frost.

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