Blooming now

Leo A. Martin
Mon, 15 Sep 2008 17:22:06 PDT
I hope those affected by the hurricane are doing OK.

On Friday, motivated by a few nights down into the 70s F here in Phoenix
(days are still around 100F), I opened some of the boxes of winter-growing
bulbs for a peek at the ones I know always sprout first. They spend the
summer in a closet indoors.

My first Haemanthus barkerae was cracking the soil and what was just under
the surface didn't look like leaves. It's a flower. I purchased the plant
as a seedling from Dylan Hannon in 2003 when he spoke here to the Central
Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society about his trip to Socotra.

I know this plant should flower sooner than 6 or 7 years of age, but I
didn't know how to take the best care of it for the first few years. If it
survived my care then it must be one of the easier winter-growing
Haemanthus. This is also borne out by the observation that I have more
surviving seedlings of this by percentage than other species of

I didn't get to the Albuca spiralis in time. Two had white elongated
flower stalks and emerging white leaves; one will not bloom this year, and
the other one will. A pot I left outside under cover of frost cloth to
protect it from summer rain looks normal and is also about to bloom. Maybe
I can set some seed this year.

And Albuca navicula is also sprouting. I know next to nothing about it
other than it came from Steven Hammer.

Two species of Babiana began emerging in the boxes: B. attenuata and B.
curviscapa. Also Boophone haemanthoides seedlings in their 3rd growing
season. Many Oxalis bulbs being stored in perlite in plastic bags are also
sprouting. Time for a planting marathon.

I watered all the bulb sprouters and put them under fluorescent lights
until our days get just a little cooler.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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