Crinum breeding: which features ?

Jim Lykos
Wed, 25 Aug 2004 17:49:11 PDT
Hi Angelo,

I  think your arguments about the breeding features of Crinums  are 
fairly sound and probably shared by many bulb growers and the gardening 
However, I  think once the number of the species in your collection have 
grown on to flowering size you will change your mind particularly about 
the foliage beauty of some species.
Some Crinums only come into their foliage glory when they are mature 
plants including  C. asiaticum you mentioned.

Even within each Crinum species there is considerable variation in the  
numbers of flowers that will open at the same time and the length  of 
time the flowers remain in fresh condition, while the day long summer 
temperatures also influence this.  I have a couple of variants of C. 
flaccidum that  are slightly later flowering  (early autumn) and they 
remain in full flower (no wilting of flowers ) for over three weeks, 
whereas the typical flaccidum is a two to  three day wonder.  There are 
other species and  hybrids that are infertile (many triploids) or lack  
pollinators when grown out of their  normal environmental range and  
because they are not pollinated they also show  considerable longevity.
I think that plant selection  and wise species line as well as hybrid 
breeding  can in time result in longer flowered Crinums, and that  a 
primary goal of breeders should  include breeding well shaped free 
flowering,  long lasting and floriferuous  hybrids of various colours.
Having said that,  I believe aesthetically  that  there are some 
epthermal flowering species  of crinums that are heavenly in shape, 
colour. foliage  and  scent and  cannot be surpassed despite or because 
of their epthermal quality.

Jim Lykos
Blue Mountains

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