Veld & Flora

Mary Sue Ittner
Sat, 24 May 2003 21:28:29 PDT
Dear All,

I just received my March 2003 Veld & Flora and found three interesting 
articles in it.

First there was an article by Graham Duncan on Polyxena. So now with the 
article in the Alpine Garden journal that Robin told me about, the article 
in the IBSA journal, and the recent discussion on the AB images list I 
should now have most of my questions answered. There is a very interesting 
picture of Polyxena corymbosa that from a distance reminds me of 
Leucocoryne or Triteleia. Maybe one day mine will bloom and I hope it looks 
like that. Paul Tyerman will be happy that the picture of Polyxena 
longituba doesn't make it look very thrilling. I still like mine and will 
be sending seeds to the BX soon. The article says you need to hand 
pollinate P. corymbosa if you want to get it to set seed so maybe that is 
why that one doesn't appear on seed lists so often.

Second there is an article by Jim Holmes on Oxalis with some pretty 
pictures. Besides mentioning some of the species I am hooked on there was 
an interesting bit about Oxalis pollination and seed. We have often talked 
about how they don't set seed and I have thought mine looked like they were 
going to and then I couldn't see the seed later. What he says is that when 
fertilization has occurred the ovary is placed down at the base of the 
plant away from animals and then when mature it rises up and splits 
violently catapulting the seeds a meter or more away. He further stated 
that the seeds of those that flower in early winter are so short-lived that 
within minutes of landing on the ground their cotyledons have unfolded. The 
ones that bloom later have seed that is more long lived as their seeds 
would be produced when no moisture would be available.

Also during the heat of summer many species start to sprout and reach the 
surface to take advantage of even the slightest bit of moisture. The young 
plant in bud form on the surface produces feeding roots to take advantage 
of even the slightest moisture. So the plant is not counting on roots from 
the bulbs.

The last article that I found interesting was on Droseras. Some of the 
South African ones are geophytes and very beautiful. Anyone on this list 
try to grow them? I ordered some seed from Silverhill. Rachel said that 
people in South Africa grow them like Romuleas or Geissorhizas.

Mary Sue

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