Bloom in winter

J.E. Shields
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 05:52:35 PST
As entertaining as plant names can be, and I greatly enjoy these 
discussions, their flowers are also interesting.  Right now, almost the 
only things in bloom are the Lachenalia ("Cape Hyacinth" I think).  The 
early blooming L. rubida rubra is still going strong with its rosy pink 
tubular flowers, while the exquisite L. viridiflora, with its turquoise 
flowers, is just starting up.

A friend in South Africa just wrote to me that he as assembled about 100 
bulbs of Lachenalia to send to me!  Wow!  He has been searching out bulb 
nurseries, I guess.

Some of my Lachenalia are almost weedy in the greenhouse.  I see the 
characteristic pustulate leaves of L. pustulata showing up in several other 
pots.  The even more characteristic rosettes of leaves of L. pusilla are in 
other pots than their own too.  Fortunately, I can usually separate the 
interlopers from the proper residents of such mixed pots when I repot them 
in summer.  The bulbs tend to look a bit different for each species.

In bud but not yet in bloom, Androcymbium latifolium ( or pulchrum) and 
Lapierousia pyramidalis pyramidalis.  Massonia pustulata and M. echinata 
are also in bud, while M. sp. cf. depressa (I'm not sure what species it 
is;  this is it's designation this week) has finished up for the season.  I 
tried to cross pollinate the two individual clones of depressa that I have, 
so maybe there will be some seeds for Dell to distribute in a few 
months.  I grew these bulbs of sp. cf. depressa from seeds I received 
labeled "Androcymbium."

An off-season flower bud of a Clivia is showing up as well.  This plant is 
an interspecific hybrid of some sort, one that I received either as a small 
seedling or as a seed, and which has not bloomed before.  I'm looking 
forward to seeing it flower.  The main Clivia miniata bloom season is March 
and April (in the Northern Hemisphere), while some of the other species 
like gardenii, robusta, and caulescens, usually bloom in autumn.  The 
interspecific hybrids can flower at almost any time of year, and winter is 
a good time for any blooms.

Speaking of Clivia and common names, the most often seen "common name" for 
Clivia starts with K and is as racially offensive in southern Africa (home 
of the Clivia) as the N-word is in North America.  The name K----- Lily is 
one "colorful" vernacular name that the world would be better off without.

Musings and pictures of some of these plants will show up in my blog over 
the next month or so. Some of the Massonia are already there.

Best wishes,
Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)
Blog at…

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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