Hippeastrum aulicum

J.E. Shields jshields104@comcast.net
Sat, 06 Feb 2010 10:30:28 PST
While we're talking about Hippeastrum, I might mention an interesting 

I've had one plant (numerous bulbs) of H. aulicum stenopetalum for about 30 
years.  I got it from the late Dr. Tom Whitaker, who got it from the front 
yard of a lady somewhere in Brazil.  It blooms for me from time to time, 
depending probably on whether I give it any particular care or not.  Before 
I got it, Tom had grown it in his own front yard in La Jolla, Calif., for 
many years.

It bloomed in the big greenhouse in December, and I took note of the bloom 
but otherwise left it alone.  In 30 years, it has never set any seed, no 
matter how assiduously I pollinated it.  This year, both flowers in the 
umbel set seed pods.  I assume they are "x self," but it is possible that a 
plant of H. mandonii bloomed at about the same time.  In any case, I 
definitely did not pollinate it myself.  Let me stress that it has never, 
ever, set a seed before while in my possession, whether hand-pollinated or 
not.  Rather curious.

Both seed pods had healthy-looking seed in them, and I planted most of the 
seeds yesterday.  I want to see 1) whether they germinate or not; and 2) 
eventually, if they someday bloom, whether they are true to their maternal 
genes or are they hybrids.

Someday I will take a new picture of this plant in bloom.  The most recent 
photos are at least 15 years old, and on 35-mm slides.  Since my slide 
scanner recently died of old age, I'm not able to show you the flower just now.

Jim Shields
in sunny and very snowy Westfield, Indiana

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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