Chasmanthe floribunda, was Orange Bulbs

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 23 Mar 2004 20:24:07 PST
Dear Jim,

Isn't it enough that this South African plant from the winter rainfall area 
is still alive in your colder climate? You want it to bloom too?

Weedy is the operative word for many of the Chasmanthes in a Mediterranean 
climate. I think you have to watch them. Jim Robinett gave me a number of 
different species (Chasmanthe floribunda, C. bicolor, C. floribunda 
'Duckittiae' (I've seen several different spellings) when he had to get rid 
of his bulb collection and I planted them in one of the warmer sunnier 
parts of my garden where they grew very big and took up more and more 
space, but never flowered. In the Color Encyclopedia there is a note that 
these plants do best in rich loamy substrates and respond well to added 
water and feeding. They didn't get any of that in my garden. They got dug 
out last year to make room for plants smaller than would bloom.

On the other hand I see Chasmanthe floribunda in huge clumps in bloom on my 
walks in my neighborhood so I'm not clear why it didn't bloom for me. The 
deer have gotten some of my neighbor's blooms, but not all. Bob took a 
picture of one blooming on my street and I've added it to the wiki. It's a 
little tricky to photograph I think. I had the yellow one mentioned above I 
originally purchased from Bioquest for about ten years and it bloomed 
briefly twice during that time before I removed it.

On the other hand Chasmanthe aethiopica is a reliably bloomer in my garden 
although it does not bloom as early as it does in South Africa where it can 
be a fall bloomer. It blooms for me late winter-early spring. In fact it is 
blooming now. It doesn't get as big as C. floribunda, but I'm sure could 
expand more than you wanted if you didn't watch it.

Jim, your messages are all dated March 17. Is this an Irish thing in honor 
of St. Patrick's Day?

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

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