Ipheion 'Rolf Fiedler'

Alberto Castillo ezeizabotgard@hotmail.com
Tue, 21 Jan 2003 05:15:37 PST

Dear all:
              Yes, I read each and every one of all your messages and follow the interesting discussions every day. I am in the middle of repotting many species and this takes too much of my time so I missed joining the two past week discussions on Triteleia and Brunsvigia. Suffice to say that when this task is finished many South Americans will be growing in 5 gallons containers for better performance. Right now it is the turn of the Chilean bulbs (remember them Jane?) and fortunately the weather is dry enough not to disturb their dormancy. 

'Rolf Fiedler' is a true species and (face red) I was supposed to be publishing it as such long ago. In my experience (and that of many others) it was battered by winter cold while uniflorum looked indifferent to any amount of cold, snow and frost. I have seen in John's site that he grows a magnificent clump of it in the open so 'Rolf Fiedler' may not be so tender as previously thought if given ideal conditions (in other words with sharp drainage instead of uniformly moist). Tristagma peregrinans is a Ravenna's species that we could not find so far. He does not recognize Ipheion as a genus simply because if all were Tristagmas the botanical names should bear his name attached. If this is botanical science...!! 

From the illustration in Plant Life it can be seen that T. peregrinans share with 'Rolf Fiedler' only two features,  blue flowers and the production of offsets at a distance from the mother bulb at the tip of long runners. The leaves and bulb shape (a long teardrop) have nothing in common with Rolf Fiedler'. It may be an interesting experience to raise Rolf Fiedler from seed as in England a white one and a deep violet one are in cultivation. In the wild 'Rolf Fiedler' grows on low hill tops in coastal lands (almost frost free), enjoys full sun the year round and temperatures similar to the Cape. Soil is well drained and slightly acid. As for rainfall, like so many South Americans in cultivation it receives year round rains with approximately one month in late summer that is really dry. Roots are perennial. Right now when they are in dormancy all bulbs have one to several white living roots attached. So, they must receive slight watering while summer dormant to maintain these roots alive. But, this is a hot dormancy. 

I was not surprised at comments on Diana's material excellence. Her selections of Triteleia and Brodiaeas are stunning, possibly the best around, rather like miniature Agapanthi. Same with many other kinds of material from her catalogue. All the best 


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