[AB_images] Hymenocallis

Hamish Sloan hamish.sloan@virgen.net
Tue, 07 Jan 2003 12:05:53 PST
Hello Bill,

I have H. harrisoniana, which is the name given in RHS Manual of Bulbs and also name under which sold in UK. I am presuming this is the same plant. Which is correct? -na or -num? Some slight change of nomenclature recently? Have not yet got mine to flower yet. Have to keep it inside here during the winter and so grow in large pot. It has multiplied profusely and my treatment may be encouraging offsets at the expense of flower. Keep it in the cool house over winter, essentially frost-free most of the time after the leaves have died down. Would appreciate your comment on this point.

H. littoralis: the slugs may love it but so do I! It flowers easily and multiplies well through offsets. One bulb bought in our Nerine and Amaryllid Society Sale just 18 months ago split into two before the Spring and I repotted separately, both bulbs produced a scape (5 and 3 florets) in the following May/June, and are now sitting in my warm house with 5 and 1 offset respectively. As you can see, one bulb took the transplanting without any disadvantage (except perhaps fewer florets?), the other showed an obvious delay and slight mis-shaping of its younger leaves before it got moving. This bulb is evergreen. This is one of those white flowers which seem to glow at dusk after a sunny day, as if the flower had been storing up the sun's energy (we do get some occasionally, you know, that time between "Winter that ends in July to begin again in August" as Byron said). Given the ease of flowering, the ease of propagation through offsets and the beauty of the flower, I find it strange that it is not better known compared with, say, H. x festalis which has a flower of much more ragged appearance with its reflexing, twisting petals, and is slower to offset. It will be interesting to see if the offsets from H. littoralis reach flowering size more quickly than H. x festalis. I certainly find the latter quicker to reach flowering size than H. "Sulphur Queen" which is the other common H. grown here.

I also grow H. longipetala which is the female parent of H. x festalis. This also multiplies easily and flowers easily. This is where H. x festalis gets its ragged looking flower from and the short pedicels, relative to flower size, make the whole scape head look crowded - more a mass of white than a group of flowers.

Do you know the parentage of h. "Sulphur Queen"? 
Regards Hamish

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