Growth cycles for BX 50

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 20 Nov 2003 22:36:11 PST
Dear All,

It is a treat to have access to these plants from South America and to have 
Alberto tell us about their growth cycle. Two of them I grow and I am 
puzzled by the key as mine seem to be summer growers and I am wondering if 
for some strange reason I have managed to produce a summer grower by 
starting seed at the wrong time. This was a topic of the week  this fall 
and maybe I have a few plants to add to the list.

Calydorea amabilis is a plant I am really fond of. If you deadhead it, it 
is like the energizer bunny. It just keeps on blooming. In 2002 it bloomed 
July-Oct and then didn't seem to grow very much and some of the plants died 
back. This year it started blooming in June and there were even some blooms 
this month, but it definitely is starting to look a bit scruffy. Some days 
there were only a couple of flowers open and other days there would be five 
or six flowers open at the same time. Perhaps what Alberto is telling us is 
to start the seed in the fall? The first time I tried to grow this seed 
which Bill Dijk had donated I started it in the spring and thought I had no 
luck at all. Then one fall a plant bloomed that puzzled me since I had no 
idea what it was or where it came from and Will Ashburner helped me 
identify it as Calydorea. Whether the seed had migrated to another pot or I 
just reused the soil I don't know. I saved seed of that plant and just 
stuck it in the pot and it came up in December.

The second plant is Gelasine elongata. Twice I tried starting seed in 
winter and had no germination and then started some in spring which 
germinated the following fall, but I was unable to keep it going. My friend 
Jana had better luck and gave me some of hers which never bloomed until I 
put it in the ground. I was advised it wouldn't like my wet winters, but it 
survived and bloomed a very long time this past summer. I think it would 
have kept on blooming if I hadn't gone to South Africa and stopped 
deadheading it. In my climate it seems to be evergreen but it is in active 
growth in the summer.

Should those people getting Alberto's seed in the Northern Hemisphere be 
starting all the ones with a W as soon as we get it?

Mary Sue

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