Nerine Sarnienses Hybrids

J.E. Shields
Mon, 19 Sep 2005 06:09:12 PDT
Hi Matt and all,

In stark contrast to the very difficult sarniensis hybrids, I have found 
that the summer growing species are wonderful pot plants.  I grow angulata, 
angustifolia, appendiculata, filifolia, filamentosa, gracilis,  huttoniae, 
krigei, laticoma, platypetala, and rehmannii.  I also have numerous 
undulata. which are readily available in the trade; undulata flowers in 
about January here in the greenhouse.

N. masoniorum is similar to filamentosa, but is much less free flowering 
for me.  A plant received as N. gibsonii was shown not to be that 
species.  It is an excellent pot plant, and sets seed freely.  The 
seedlings look just like the parents, so it is probably a species, even if 
not true gibsonii.  It is in flower right now.  Unlike some of the small 
flowered species, its scapes are in good proportion to the flower size.

I have bulbs received as hessioides; these may not be true hessioides.

The krigei flowers first, in mid-July.  The leaves are long, narrow, and 
twisted around the long axis.  The flowers are rather spidery, but up to 2 
inches across.  It needs some winter chill to induce flowering.

N. filifolia flowers after krigei, and their bloom times overlap in most 
seasons.  Both set seeds freely, and I have the cross [filifolia X krigei] 
in flower too.  My only laticoma large enough to flower also blooms at this 
time, with flowers as large as krigei's.  It has so far refused to set seeds.

Now the rest are flowering.

None have proved hardy so far, but I will keep trying.

N. bowdenii flowers later -- November and December.  It has so far not set 
seed with krigei, and vice versa.  Bulbs of N. bowdenii "Koen's Hardy" have 
survived in the open field through a couple of winters, 
unmulched.  However, they were visibly weakened, producing smaller and 
fewer leaves in the field.  After two winters, I dug the remaining plants 
and now grow them in pots.  The flower well in pots in the winter 
greenhouse, but never flowered in the field.  This latter is not 
surprising, since my ground is often frozen when the 'Koen's Hardy" in my 
greenhouse flower.

I obtained true N. bowdenii wellsii a couple years ago, and these bulbs 
have proved very robust in pots.  I expect them to start flowering this 
winter.  If they do, I'll cross them with "Koen's Hardy" for starters.

"Koen's Hardy" is a clone selected by Aad Koen in The Netherlands for 
production of cut flowers.  It survives his winters there in the open 
field, given a little mulch.  Common bowdenii does not survive his winters 
in the open, even when mulched -- at least, not healthy enough to then flower.

So if the sarniensis hybrids do not perform well enough to justify the time 
and trouble to grow them, try some of the summer growing species.  You'll 
like them!

Sources of bulbs and seeds of Nerine species:  Try Rachel  & Rod Saunders 
and Rhoda & Cameron 
McMaster  (see: )

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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