Is it Love? Worsleya

Coffee Camp
Fri, 01 Sep 2006 13:57:11 PDT
Very much enjoyed your posting Ron and like Matt in Massachusetts I want to know more about this  Holy Grail of geophytes as it was not an orphaned worselya left on my doorstep with the paper but a fostered one handed me by a stranger.

I had read a little about Worsleya and seen their prices and moved on dismissing them as too expensive & troublesome.

Time passed until a day last Summer when I received a phone call as a result of my website from a botanist who lived locally and wanted to visit my nursery after discussing my plants.

He arrived as arranged with another man who was not expected. On arrival, this other chap presented me with 2 pot plants from a number of plants he had just purchased from local nurseries, including several well advanced Wollemi pines.  He was a botanist/horticulturist or whatnot but senior as the first fellow always deferred to him and he was up from Sydney I believe.

The first pot he gave me he said the grower believed was a Crinum Ellen Basanquet & was labelled as such with a question mark. He asked if I had or if I collect hybrids. I told him I only collect species plants.  He said the other was a species plant, a worsleya. 'Worsleya?' said I. 'Yes' said he rather nonchalantly.  He could see that I was impressed, however, the pot was unlabelled and I later began to doubt its authenticity without evidence.

The gifts I believe were because he knew I had Crinum scabrum & after carefully inquiring into my specimens' provenance, asked if he may have one.

The so-called worsleya was in that very light nursery mix & wasn't doing anything where I'd put it.  I repotted it into a much larger pot with my usual bulb mix & put it in the greenhouse over winter. It looks healthy & happy but hasn't grown much or done much at all since acquiring it, whereas the C. Ellen Basanquet? has had several pups already.

Does a Worsleya have any particular features, other than the flower, which help to identify it would anyone know?  Or will I just have to wait until & if it flowers to be sure it is in fact the real McCoy?


Geoff in sub-tropical NSW, AU
2nd day of Spring Clivias, Dietes, Tulbaghias & Albuca spiralis in bloom & attacks on my A. belladonna leaves already by Spodoptera picta

On 1/9/06, "Ronald Redding" <> wrote:

> Dear All,
> Today I have discovered a flower spike on a plant that is quite significant
> to me. I have many others like it and have produced flowers from them. This
> was the first of its kind that I ever obtained. I still remember the time I
> eventually tracked down where I could obtain one and was amazed at the
> asking price, I was able to convince the supplier I could grow this plant as
> I had done an enormous amount of research and even though he only had a tiny
> plant left he still could get a large amount of money for it he never sold
> them so small. My (looking back now) tiny little plant arrived and ooh how I
> loved it. I cared for it, sheltered it and brought it inside if it got too
> cold. I tried everything to convince it to grow big and strong, gave it the
> best food money could buy and even danced if front of it naked under the
> light of a full moon.
> Year after year it still did not respond I did not realise it was me being
> cultivated and that it was helping me become better and teaching me many
> valuable lessons. After much trial and error the last two years have proven
> that I am finally getting many things right it has flourished and as if I
> have finally learned enough and now as a sign of respect a flower spike. The
> man that I bought the plant from was Errol Cosh who provided me with much
> guidance and encouragement who I am happy to say I have met and who has not
> only shared his knowledge but stories, food and drink. The plant is a
> worsleya and is truly something that you can fall in love with.
> Kind Regards and Best Wishes
> Ron Redding
> Hervey Bay
> Australia

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