Mark Mazer
Tue, 30 Jan 2007 12:20:38 PST
Hi Jim:
L. pusilla fragrance is of coconut.  L. orchiodes v. glaucina and L. gillettii and arbuthnotiae are blooming now and are pleasantly sweet.  L. fistulosa, capensis, congesta, algoensis, peersii, unicolor, and comptonii should also have pleasant smells.  There must be others.
L. zebrina and it's varieties I find difficult to cultivate, highly susceptible to various fungi and molds.  Best results are obtained with an almost organic free potting mix (think Androsace, maybe 9:1 organic vs. mineral), constant air movement. and no moisture on the leaves.  Bottom watering only  I have similar problems with Daubenya.

If I had to pick three, rubida or viridflora , bulbifera or an aloides var. and then purpurea-caerulea or mathewsii would provide early, mid and late season blooms.  If  I had to choose one species, pustulata has quite a few color varieties, whites to pinks to shades of "blue".

The species that I find especially rewarding for pot culture are: Rubida, viridiflora, bulbifera, aloides in all it's varieties, orchiodes var glaucina, mathewsii,  carnosa, elegans var. flava, mutabilis,  kliprandensis, rosea, liliflora, namibiensis, splendida, purpurea-caerulea, pustulata.  I'm sure that there are others that have slipped my mind.

Do not grow reflexa. It is a weedy pest .

I would recommend that you grow them from seed.  They are easy and many exhibit great variability.  It is also worthwhile to search out seed from different locations for those species that are widespread. 

My best display pots are from plants that have been selected and then cloned.


After you're finished exploring Lachenalia, try Lapeirousia or Geissorhiza.  They are super pot plant subjects.

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