Brunsvigia TOW

Cameron McMaster
Tue, 14 Jan 2003 21:20:39 PST
Mary Sue wrote:
> Now for true confessions I believe Michael Vassar gave some seed of B.
> grandiflora from the Huntington Gardens to the IBS BX and I started some
> and they grew well. Somewhere along the way I forgot that they came from a
> summer rainfall area and have been treating them as winter growing and
> summer dormant. And they have been growing that way in response. I was
> potting them up this year (before reading that Rachel suggests like with
> Amaryllis belladonna the time for transplanting them is when they are in
> growth) and was horrified to see that this was a plant wanting summer
> rainfall. So I was relieved to see Rhoda writing about this species (and
> gregaria): "Despite being classified as from different rainfall regions,
> these two Brunsvigia species behave similarly here in the wild:  if the
> bulb skips flowering or is still immature, the leaves appear in January
and continue to grow until about July, when they gradually dry up.

Mary Sue
I must stress that the similar behaviour of B. gregaria and B. grandiflora
here in the Stutterheim region is a local pattern, I'm not sure how they
behave further north (B. grandiflora) and further west (B. gregaria).  The
two species 'meet' here.  So our local populations are possibly strains (is
that the word?) that behave a little differently, or are adaptable.  With
your B. grandiflora bulbs that have been subjected to Mediterranean growing
conditions, I wouldn't suggest much change - perhaps you could water them a
few weeks earlier and place them where they have some protection from heavy
rain (in the lee of a garden wall?).  And also plant them as high as
possible in the soil - if they are tiny, plant them with the roots in soil,
and fill the last cm or two of the pot with little stone chips to cover the
bulbs.  It would be interesting to find out where the B. grandiflora in the
Huntington Gardens came from (the locality in the wild), because they are
obviously also adaptable, as you have proved!
E. Cape

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