A. belladonna "Hathor"

Billthebulbbaron@aol.com Billthebulbbaron@aol.com
Wed, 17 Aug 2005 07:53:21 PDT
In a message dated 8/17/05 4:26:22 AM, jimlykos@optusnet.com.au writes:

<< Another factor about Hathor is that it is more difficult to flower than 
other white Amaryllids -it requires hot dry spring-summers followed by heavy 
late summer rainfall. In this habit its very close to the pattern of flowering 
followed by the Brunsvigia josephinea x Amaryllis hybrids. >>


So this would imply Brunsvigia josephinae is native to a climate where there 
is heavy rainfall in February (in Southern Hemisphere)?

One thing I have noted with the basic "Amaryllis belladonna hybrids" that I 
so easily mass-produce from seed, is that they seem to need more water than do 
the original pink A. belladonna that we are all so familiar with.  I sell alot 
of them locally at the farmers markets and the customers that are the 
happiest with them invariably report back that they are growing them right in the 
garden among the other flowers where they are routinely watered all year any time 
there is a lack of rainfall.  One thing I noticed here occurred a year ago 
when in April I accidentally left a water timer set to run a sprinkler for 3 
hours after dark (probably set to "daily watering", but possibly every 3 days--in 
any event frequently and in rather heavy soil at that).  I only detected the 
"problem" in early June, when I noticed this one area of fully green amaryllis 
foliage in the middle of a field that was otherwise completely dry (normally 
I would not have watered them after mid- to late-April).  At that point I let 
them go dry, like everything else, with the watering resumed in late July as 
usual to trigger flower bud emergence.  I was watching with great interest to 
see what would happen in that heavily watered area.  At first nothing, while 
adjacent amaryllis came up and flowered normally, then all at once the formerly 
wet section came to life and as the season was nearing its end,  bloomed 
easily 3 times as many stems overall as any other part of the field!!

While I have have never steadily and consistently watered them right on thru 
the summer (mostly due to being distracted by other things), it is remarkable 
how often I hear back with glowing reports from those customers who put them 
in places even like alongside the lawn, while those who followed the "textbook 
advice" I used to give and planted them out in dry areas where one would often 
see naturalized A. belladonna in this area, report little if any bloom the 
first year after planting (versus at least 50% with those who water), and in 
general report them to be alot less floriferous in the long run than this old 
fashioned one as well.

I might add that those that I sell locally are generally dug and sold in 
bloom, this works well for the customer as they can choose precisely what colors 
they are getting, stem heights, etc., but I'm sure there is some added stress 
to the bulb if they leave the flowering stem on to continue blooming , though I 
do advise them to cut things off afterward so the plant doesn't also try to 
make seed. 

I notice Brunsvigia josephinae has very thick, glaucous foliage, that stays 
very healthy in the spring even in close promiximity to the Amaryllis 
belladonna hybrids which invariably seem VERY susceptible to stagonsospora (leaf 
scorch).  If anything its leaves seem even more resistant to this disease than the 
old-fashioned pink A. belladonna, which has quite good resistance as well.  

Jim, if there are varying levels of B. josephinae ancestry in these hybrids, 
how come they are so dramatically more susceptible to this problem?  Is there 
also another parent noted for such a susceptibility that is in their 
background as well??  It would be worth asking the breeder you referred to earlier: 
<<An Australian  bulb breeder has  recently flowered numbers of plants of both 
Amaryllis belladonna x B. josephinea and the reverse cross B. josephinea x 
Amaryllis belladonna grown from crosses he made 12 years ago. >> if his crosses, 
presumably using  the straight A. belladonna as the parent, (thus ensuring no 
other species is involved), have somehow acquired a major susceptibility to this 
disease that is substantially lacking in the parents...

Best wishes,

Bill the Bulb Baron
<A HREF="http://www.billthebulbbaron.com/">Bill the Bulb Baron.com</A>
William R.P. Welch
P.O. Box 1736
(UPS: 264 West Carmel Valley Road)
Carmel Valley, CA 93924-1736, USA
Phone/fax (831) 659-3830

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