hybridizing compatibility among Amarylllidaceae

Dennis Szeszko dszeszko@gmail.com
Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:41:14 PST

I think that it was a cross with Zephyranthes nelsonii. I make this
assumption based on the fact that both species grow in the same environment,
both flower at the same time, and both likely have similar pollinators. I
forgot to mention in my previous email that the
Sprekelia-Zephyrantheshybrid had flowers that bent over in the same
fashion as Habranthus
and Hippeastrum. They did not open straight up like in other species of

My main area of research is orchids so the study of bulbs in the field is
merely a hobby for me. Incidentally, I haven't really been in the field a
lot in the last year, because I've been working in different herbaria. I'm
going to start doing fieldwork starting in 2006 so hopefully I will be able
to share a lot more information with members of this list about Mexican
bulbs and post a lot of pictures to the wiki. I want to post pictures of
Zephyranthes, Polianthes, Tigridia, and many other uncommon Irids, because
they are rare in cultivation and finding any information about them is
almost impossible. There are also many species of terrestrial orchids that
have been overlooked by growers. For instance, I happen to think that many
species of Bletia orchids are very beautiful and relatively easy to grow. I
want to put together a wiki page for Bletia similar to what Cameron McMaster
did for Disa species from South Africa.

In response to your question on the scarcity of Mexican bulbs, I will
attempt to answer it with an analogy. If one were to gauge the scarcity of
dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) based on the number of times they have
been collected for herbaria, one would deduce that dandelions are very rare
indeed! But dandelions are not found in herbaria because a professional
botanist has no interest in collecting them. Similarly, it is incorrect to
deduce that Mexican bulbs are rare in the wild because there is so little
information about them or because they are not commonly cultivated. From my
experience in the field, they are very common...just vastly
underappreciated. For example, just last month I was driving in the
countryside and I saw hundreds of flowers of Bessera elegans and Tigridia
meleagris lining the edges of the highways.

Toluca, Mexico where I grow bulbs and orchids outdoors in temperate alpine
conditions at 2,500 meters, USDA zone 10

Dear Dennis.
You leave us with mouth wide open! This is the first time,
I think, this cross is mentioned. X Sprekanthus was grown years ago and it
was a gorgeous little thing. Do you think you know the Zeph. species
involved in the natural cross?
Have you found undescribed species of Zeph. (and others,
incidentally) in your part of Mexico?
It was also a surprise to learn that Mexican bulbs are not
scarce in the wild. A group of us are working hard to try to propagate the
material in cultivation by careful seed sowing but perhaps we are doing a
useless work in sevral cases. Which are those that you have found rare or
scarce, if any?

Best regards

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