Not exactly a geophyte
Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:31:21 PDT

I grow a few types of Manfreda, they are Agave relatives and could almost be 
called geophytes.  They don't seem to make a bulb, but they do make an 
enlarged base that is bulb-like--sitting on top of the soil as well as under the 
soil.  Some types spread happily by rhizomes, sort of like Crinum erubescens.

Recently, I collected some pollen from M. variegata growing in far south 
Texas, in Rio Grand City on the border with Mexico.  I have a single plant that 
does not set seed when left to its own devices.  So, I brought the pollen home, 
dried it down a few days, and then put it in the refrigerator over a bid of 
desiccant in a small container.  

Two weeks later, when my plant bloomed, I was able to pollinate most flowers 
and now have big fat seed pods developing.  M. variegata is an interesting 
plant, sometimes blue-green leaves but usually the leaves have blotches of 
purple.  The leaves are very floppy, and sometimes lie upon the ground.  The M. 
variegata plants I saw in the wild were growing in a sandstone outcrop in 
blistering heat.  

I have seen M. maculosa about 100 miles west of here (Houston area) near La 
Grange, TX.  In this area (Houston area) we have M. virginica.  They are all 
very easy to grow and seem impervious to rain, drought, heat, cold, sun, etc.  
Some species have fragrant flowers.  I'm under the impression that many more 
types grow in Mexico.

LINK:  Manfreda flowers of various Texas species 


Conroe Joe

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