IBSA Symposium 2003/Vist to South Africa TOW--Nerine sarniensis

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Wed, 01 Oct 2003 12:01:05 PDT
Dear All,

Thanks to Lauw and Audrey for posting. Maybe some of you from South Africa 
can tell us how the Symposium seemed from your perspective.

I have started writing about the rest of the trip but it is taking me 
awhile and I don't have time to finish today. I am hoping I can add a few 
pictures to illustrate a few points and those pictures are not yet on my 
computer, much less on the wiki. So today I am just going to write two 
brief messages instead of one long one.

The first has to do with Nerine sarniensis which Lauw has mentioned. We 
were not on the same bus so I didn't see the leaves that he saw. In one of 
the IBSA bulb chats Alan Horstmann wrote that the consensus of the IBSA 
members at one of their meetings was that to get Nerine sarniensis to bloom 
reliably it needs to have a totally dry dormancy. This goes against what 
many of us have discovered. In fact as we have discussed on this list 
watering in summer on  a regular basis has meant that a lot of people who 
weren't getting blooms now are. Hamish in his excellent topic of the week 
introduction on Nerine spoke of needing to keep the perennial roots from 
drying out.

We visited with Mary Stobie, an IBSA member from Greyton. She told us this 
species grows high in her mountains where there are often mists in summer. 
Plants are growing in the rocks and probably only get sun for a few hours 
every day. There seem to be in very little soil, but she speculated the 
mists and the rocks probably keep the roots cool and prevent the plants 
from drying out. This would be quite different conditions than a bulb in a 
plastic pot would get for those of us who live in warm dry climates. She 
introduced me to a lady who had a large patch in her garden growing under 
the shade of an oak tree with Veltheimia bracteata. This area gets regular 
summer water, but no doubt the oak roots absorb a lot of it. Every year in 
the fall she has quite a show. Her plants are reseeding and increasing so 
every year it only gets better.

I report this only as an example that there are probably multiple ways to 
grow our bulbs successfully.

Mary Sue

More information about the pbs mailing list