South African Romuleas

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 17 Feb 2004 15:14:37 PST
Dear All,

Before it started raining last Friday we had some lovely weather in 
northern California and I had time to admire some of my Romuleas that were 
blooming. Since then we have been having a lot of rain, heavy enough the 
last two days that roads are starting to flood. I've added some pictures of 
mine and Audrey Cain's to the wiki:…

Last year I posted a lovely picture Bob took of Romulea komsbergensis from 
seed from Dirk Wallace. Lauw wrote that he thought the identification was 
wrong because Romulea komsbergensis usually has a brown center and in my 
plants this was reduced to more of a brown line. This year I have poured 
over my books (I have three publications just for South African Romuleas) 
and the keys. I had seed started the same time from IBSA of the same 
species and there are many similarities and a few differences as well. This 
second year of blooming they seem much more alike than different although 
the backs are definitely different (but still fitting within the 
description of this species) and one of them has a style that divides 
beyond the anthers and one that divides closer to the anthers. In the most 
recent monograph by Manning and Goldblatt it was noted that there were 
populations found that differed in style lengths from the previous 
population described as deep pink with a pale cup and each tepal marked 
with a dark central band outlined with a violet zone on the other margin 
with anthers with reddish brown pollen. Ah, for those earlier days when I 
didn't really care what it was and just enjoyed the flowers!

I have added pictures from this year's flowers showing the very beautiful 
and different backs of the two clones and one of a bee that I watched 
rolling around in the flowers. It reminded me of my dog when she seems 
really happy and rolls on her bag moving around and rubbing it.

Romulea diversiformis is blooming this time of the year and I added another 
picture of it just so you can see the form of the leaves a little better.

Audrey has sent me pictures which I added to the South African wiki page 
under Romulea diversiformis x Romulea komsbergensis hybrids. She writes:
"The first of the Romulea pictures came from IBSA wild collected seed, in a
batch of R. diversiformis seed. The rest of the seedlings flowered
typically, but this one is a R. komsbergensis X R. diversiformis hybrid.
The remaining photos are the result of self-pollinating the first flower, so
that they are F2 hybrids all from the same pod of seeds!"

Be sure and look at the parents first and then her amazing flowers. All you 
have to do is to take one look at the variations and realize that it would 
be quite easy to grow hybrids that don't exactly fit the keys even if we 
didn't manipulate the pollination if more than one flower was blooming at 
the same time and nature did the job.

Finally I added another picture of Romulea luteoflora taken one day when 
there were quite a few of the wonderful yellow and black flowers open at 
the same time.

My contribution to this rainy dreary day.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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