Blooming Now and more

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 18 Aug 2004 21:58:27 PDT
Dear All,

Jim McKenney really likes to stimulate conversation on this list (or shall 
I say stir things up)!! As I emerge from my repotting to read posts it 
seems obvious to me that we all are going to have different favorites and 
that is good. If everyone grew the same thing, gardens would be really 
boring. Since the members of this list have widely different conditions: 
winter rainfall, summer rainfall, different soils, different day and night 
temperatures year round as starters of course we will have different levels 
of success and as a result different favorites. One of the reasons I have 
been doing topics of the week on favorite colored plants was to show the 
great diversity of this list. Each color we have done has produced many 
different favorites.

Blooming this month for me from two different batches of misidentified 
NARGS seed (both identified as different species of Rhodophiala--not) is 
Habranthus tubispathus. I had given away all the plants I had of that 
species, concluding that a bulb that needed hot humid summers with rainfall 
to stimulate the blooms was not a good choice for coastal Northern 
California. A few days of bloom a year was not going to justify the summer 
water it would want. I am sure it must be someone's favorite where it 
blooms off and on in mass all summer. It's disappointing to me however to 
have it once again. Even the planting out trick didn't work with these. 
They just disappeared never to be seen again.

On the other hand, I have the first bloom from seed of the most gorgeous 
big flowered orange Cyrtanthus, C. sanguineus. I started it from Silverhill 
Seed October 4, 2001 after seeing some I greatly admired at Lauw's in 
France and thinking if he grew it I might be able to grow it too. I think 
Jim Waddick has given it a thumbs up too. In this case we are both 
successful even though we have very different growing conditions. No doubt 
his plants are protected in winter. Also blooming as of yesterday is 
another Cyrtanthus, this one from Bill Dijk seed started May 2002, 
Cyrtanthus eucallus hybrids. Paul Chapman was with me when I was looking at 
what Bill Dijk had brought to sell in Pasadena when he visited the USA and 
said he thought I could be successful with Cyrtanthus eucallus. It isn't as 
dramatic as the other one, but still is very beautiful. I'm not sure how 
Bill Dijk manages to get so many blooming flowers at once. Mine are 
staggered which is fine since that means they bloom for a long time. My 
Cyrtanthus montanus-elatus hybrid has also been blooming a long time and 
yesterday I spotted a white C. mackenii. All are bring me a lot of pleasure!!

Bill has so many pictures of Cyrtanthus on the wiki I'm not sure I need to 
add any of mine, but have added a close-up of C. sanguineus showing the 
nice markings in the throat. I also added a couple of pictures taken a few 
months ago of Cyrtanthus mackenii when it was blooming then too.…

I've also added some pictures of the C. eucallus hybrid. Bill's all look 
orange and mine is more of a salmon color. I positioned it next to one of 
those white "big showy baffons (sic)" with the cheap flash now gracing my 
garden for a second photo. It does indeed look a bit small in comparison. 
Lycoris success is unlikely where I live and Amaryllis belladonna hit or 
miss even though the species is naturalized in the wild where I live, but 
when it hits, I enjoy it.…

Mary Sue

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