Is this normal for Haemanthus nortieri?

Michael Benedito
Wed, 13 Jan 2010 14:00:04 PST
Thank you for your confirmation reply mr. Jim.

I live in Madeira Island, and i do grow all my plants outside. In the previous years i used to safeguard all the bulbs from the rain, but i just gave up this year as it is not pratical at all to be constantly moving those heavy pots from one place to another. I cannot put them in a greenhouse here, as the air is so moist bot in winter and summer (70% or more of relative humidity) that they could end up rotting. MY parents do not let me build a shelter to the bulbs in the terrace, because it might not look that nice.
 So this is the first year i leave all those bulbs on their own. I just have covered the ones that are dormant, but all the rest is getting rain. And it is a coincidence that we had rain for 2 consecutive weeks in the beginning of december, which is quite odd for Madeira. Until now i had not lost any plants, and i hope things keep that way. The temperature is about 13ºc at night and 19ºc day. And i think that the mineral potting mix with sharp drainage helps as well.

But right now I am a bit shocked and surprised at the same time because of what you just said. Why is H. nortieri so uncommon?  Forgive me my ignorance about this matter, but most sites just mention "rare". Well to me even H. coccineus is rare, as i am not aware of any other grower that owns this species in my country (portugal) besides myself. And how can one propagate something that never blooms and doesnt make offsets?


--- On Tue, 12/1/10, J.E. Shields <> wrote:

> From: J.E. Shields <>
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Is this normal for Haemanthus nortieri?
> To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
> Date: Tuesday, 12 January, 2010, 19:50
> Michael,
> Your detailed close-up pictures do convince me that you
> probably really do 
> have nortieri.  It won't hurt your plant if you gently
> touch the 
> leaves.  Mine get handled quite regularly.  Water
> does wash some of the 
> adhering dust particles off, so rain over several hours or
> days might well 
> wash the leaves clean.
> I have only seen two plants of Haemanthus nortieri: 
> my own, and the one 
> Graham Duncan is growing in the bulb house at Kirstenbosch
> Botanic Garden 
> in Cape Town.  There is no illustration of it in
> Snijman's "The Genus 
> Haemanthus."
> You have not mentioned where you live (or I failed to note
> it).  Growing 
> your plants outdoors in wind and rain will leave them
> looking somewhat 
> different from mine, which must be kept inside a greenhouse
> all year 
> around.  My Haemanthus have not seen natural rain in
> their entire 
> lifetimes, for the most part.  Sometimes a couple of
> them get to sit 
> outdoors in August or September.  Indiana is today
> having very mild weather 
> -- snow on the ground since shortly after Christmas, but
> the temperature 
> reaching up to 30°F (-1 C) for the first time in
> 2010.  In summer, we get 3 
> or 4 inches of rain each month.
> My coccineus slowly lower their leaves from erect to
> prostrate over the 
> course of the growing season.  Most are still
> semi-erect at this point, but 
> they are inside a greenhouse and protected form wind and
> rain.
> H. unifoliatus is the only other consistently single-leaf
> Haemanthus, and 
> it occasionally puts up two leaves (also from Snijman's
> book).  The red 
> color of the leaf bases and lack of transverse red
> striation does make me 
> think your bulb is nortieri.  You are very lucky to
> have it!
> Best wishes,
> Jim Shields
> in Westfield, Indiana
> At 07:19 PM 1/12/2010 +0000, you wrote:
> > > From: J.E. Shields <>
> > >
> >......
> >Dear Mr. Jim
> >
> >I apologise for sounding a bit presumptuous regarding
> the ID of the plant. 
> >You are totally right,I have no idea of what species it
> might be. But I've 
> >been observing its morphological features for a while,
> and it matches H. 
> >nortieri characteristics more than any other taxon of
> that genus. Of 
> >course the bibliography regarding the whole genus is
> very scarce, and I 
> >might be wrong... I´m also no expert on this family at
> all, very far from 
> >that, but this identification I made is just a
> thought.
> >
> > > (...)What it actually is would be hard to say
> until it
> > > blooms.  At a guess, you
> > > have Haemanthus coccineus.  H. coccineus
> will
> > > eventually bloom for you, and
> > > then should bloom almost every year from then
> on.  It
> > > does make a very
> > > attractive plant and inflorescence, but it is
> not
> > > rare.
> >
> >I agree with you again. Perhaps H. nortieri is so rare
> that only the 
> >specialists are able to supply it with the conditions
> it needs and it is 
> >not a suitable thing for young amateurs, like me, to
> grow. But actually I 
> >enjoy growing plants mainly for their beauty and not
> because they are rare 
> >or a collector's item. There are so many species that
> are somehow common, 
> >but equally beautiful, like these four Scadoxus
> puniceus that i sew when i 
> >was 8 y old and are just about to bloom :)
> >
> >…
> >
> >.......
> >Kind regards
> >Michael
> *************************************************
> 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
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