Nerine again

Jim McKenney
Mon, 13 Sep 2004 08:39:11 PDT
A new plant received as Nerine sarniensis began to bloom last week. The
catalog photo had me expecting a bright scarlet flower - I had my hopes up
that they would be the wonderful old cultivar 'Corusca'. Instead, the
flowers are a color which I can't quite put a name on: it reminds me most
of the color of some blackberry ice creams, near where the fruit just
starts to mix with the cream. And as I was looking at the flower I began to
think I was tasting blackberry icecream. Maybe I'm a bit synesthetic? 

The only other Nerine here now is N. bowdenii, and that does not yet show
signs of bloom. Is the growth cycle of the cultivated Nerine bowdenii, i.e.
winter dormant and summer active, the natural growth cycle of the wild
plants, or were 
the cultivated plants selected for this characteristic? Nerine bowdenii is
the only Nerine which will survive the winter outside here (sometimes).
Because it has no leaves in the winter, it can be mulched heavily, and with
a heavy mulch it's just about a sure thing. 

Are there hybrids which have the growth cycle of Nerine bowdenii and the
colors of Nerine sarniensis?

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where instead of blackberry
ice cream, I'm about to whip up a batch of zabaione to serve with

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