Crinum Blooming

J.E. Shields
Mon, 09 Jun 2008 05:02:43 PDT
Here in wet, muggy central Indiana -- in the part that is NOT under water 
-- three of Al Sisk's crinums are in bloom.  These three are growing out in 
the open field.

I have one C. (bulbispermum X graminicola) in that same bed that is still 
alive, out of maybe 6 that were planted 2 years ago.  No blooms on any of 
that cross yet, in the ground or in pots.

A half-dozen C. (variabile X bulbispermum), siblings to the clone I sent to 
Tony Avent, are still growing in that bed, but they have not so far offered 
to bloom.  Tony's climate may be a bit friendlier to crinums than mine 
is.  The flowers on Tony's plant are beautiful!  Tony, by the way, is 
propagating that clone and will eventually offer it in his catalog.

C. macowanii (my #1022.A) from a nursery in South Africa is blooming 
too.  C. bulbispermum from the same nursery are also starting to 
flower.  Most of my C. macowanii bloom markedly later in our season than 
#1022.A does.  This one has nice balloon-like flower form as well as black 
anthers underneath the creamy white pollen.

C. (bulbispermum roseum X lugardiae ex KZN) are also sending up scapes.  As 
I have sold down on this cross, a couple years ago I made a cross of 
bulbispermum that I call 'Herb's Red' with Natal lugardiae, and hope to see 
blooms on some of those seedlings in a year or two.  Maybe they will show 
more red than the (bulbispermum roseum X lugardiae ex KZN) flowers do.

I have found that planting small bulbs outdoors is futile.  If I plant full 
grown, bloom-size, Crinum bulbs outdoors, I am much more likely to see the 
bulbs survive through the winter here.  That means growing them on in at 
least a 3-gal. pot.  You can grow them forever in a one gallon pot and 
they'll stay smaller than a hen's egg as long as you keep them in the 
little pot.  Even the dwarf Caribbean Crinum oliganthum does better in a 
2-gal. pot than in a 1-gal. pot.

The crinums don't seem to mind all this heat, humidity, and rain.  I'm glad 
something doesn't mind it.

Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)

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

More information about the pbs mailing list