Lycoris aurea var. surgens ??

James Waddick
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 14:58:58 PDT
Dear Kelly, Adam, Tony and all,
	There is much to learn here.
	I just did a check of the newest Flora of China version of 
L. aurea. They do not recognize L. a. surgens at all. and they 
indicate a distribution including India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, 
Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam as well as Chinese provinces as 
far north as Gansu, Shaanxi and Hubei and south to Yunnan and 
Guangdong. None of these are remarkably temperate ( nor is Guizhou).

	Obviously a wide range of climates and needs.

	The bulbs I imported all came from Hangzhou in southern 
Zheijiang Province a warm spot in the range.

	Regarding freeze/frost damage. I grew these bulbs in a frost 
free greenhouse without problem, but in a cold frame they fared very 
poorly. I suppose keeping them dry and free of extra humidity (as 
Kelly does) could increase their frost resistance.

	We all know that provenance has been little appreciated. We'd 
love to get bulbs from as far north as they grow naturally, but I do 
not know of any sources.

	As an aside, L. aurea is not really a triploid, but various 
'cytoraces' exist with chromosome numbers of at least 12, 13, 14 , 
15, and 16 (and there may be others). The diploids should be fertile, 
but the aneuploids are likely sterile. 

	Kelly I am dubious of Chen Yi's L. shaanxiensis. I have tried 
them repeatedly, but they have not done well. Since she sells a 
variety of strange names like pink aurea, white aurea etc, I have 
doubts about all her names.  I have a couple of what I think are the 
real thing, but they are not vigorous. I am working on that.

	Yes I wish I could reconnect with Lycoris interests in China 
and I constantly try new sources-unsuccessfully, alas.

	More food for thought.		Best	Jim W.

>We have also heard about the tenderness of Lycoris aurea for years and
>had shied away from trying it.  Several years ago, I saw a collection of
>Lycoris aurea at Duke Gardens that Paul Jones had made in China.  It had
>grown for several years and flowered well there.  We later obtained
>plants that originated in Guizhou, China under the name L. aurea.  When
>they flowered, they perfectly keyed to L. aurea, which is the only
>species whose flower stalk emerges with old leaf sheathes at the base. 
>We have grown this plant for four years (a winter low of 8 degrees F
>during that time), and it has been fine with no special siting or winter
>mulch.  My theory is that since L. aurea has a wide range, that some of
>the early material into the US was from a tropical part of its range. 
>As Mark Twain once said, "Rumors of my demise have been greatly
>exaggerated."...ditto Lycoris aurea.  Thoughts?
>Tony Avent
>Plant Delights Nursery @
>Juniper Level Botanic Garden
>9241 Sauls Road
>Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
>Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
>Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
>USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
>phone 919 772-4794
>fax  919 772-4752
>"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it 
>least three times" - Avent
>James Waddick wrote:
>>  Dear Adam et al,
>>	This is an interesting species. According to the best I can
>>  find, this species is endemic to Upper Burma and like all ssp of L.
>>  aurea sub- tropical in growth demands. In my experience and
>>  understanding all L. aurea are extremely frost tender and if the
>>  winter green  foliage (which is the most succulent in the genus) is
>>  exposed to even light freezes it will collapse and bloom is
>>  compromised.
>>	I think that anyone growing a plant with this label and in
>>  your Zonel has a misidentified plant.
>>	Your " L. a surgens"  could be any of various yellow flowered
>>  species - the most likely is of course L. chinensis, or L. longituba
>>  var  flava or a hybrid of these two.
>>	The true L. aurea has the remains of its leaf bases still
>>  prominent at the base of the scape.
>>	Leaves produced in autumn.
>>	Leaves are the largest of any species over 2 feet long, 1
>  > inch wide and distinctly succulent.
>>	Does this fit your plant?
>>	Few people are able to bloom the true species north of Zone 8 or 9.
>>	Best		Jim W.
>>>    I note that L. aurea v. surgens, however is setting seed.
>pbs mailing list

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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