Hippeastrum cybister

Mariano Saviello mariano_saviello83@yahoo.com.ar
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 16:37:34 PDT
Dear Derk, Jacob and list;
H. cybister is an Argentinean/ Bolivian species (some notes describe it for Brazil, as well), collected in 1948 in Bolivia by M.D.Foster. It grows in arid regions and the ovoid bulbs can grow up to a very considerable size. Actually I have been doing some repotting this morning and the biggest one is 20cm in perimeter and up to 9cm in diameter, but smaller bulbs can flower too (12-15cm in perimeter, 6cm in diameter).
The leaves are commonly produced after the flowers, are 2.5-3.5cm broad and 40-60cm long, lorate, green. The scape above 60cm tall is glaucescent and the umbel has from 4 to 6 spidery flowers.
It is a species that reproduces quite easily by stolons (not ephiphytic). I grow it in a sandy substrate, rich in organic material and a good drainage, in hot and dry conditions (somewhat like the ones of its natural habitat in northern Argentina, where the thermal oscillation (day-night) can be of more than 20C (68F)), but not in direct sun, in a bright and airy room. Although the dormancy period depends on the habitat, it should require a 9 months time resting period to flower in January-February (information for Northern hemisphere).
I have four different clones of this species, wild collected in both, Argentina and Bolivia. The Argentinean clones were collected in the Argentinean province of Jujuy (near the localty of San Francisco, 1700 m) and in the frontier Argentina-Bolivia, in the banks of the Bermejo River, near Mamora (1000m). The clones from Bolivia were collected by a friend of mine in Samaipata (growing under trees, 1600m) and in the road from Valle Grande to Matal.
It can be easily mistaken for H. cibister ‘Chico’; both, with ‘Reggae’, are selections/ hybrids of H. cybister released from the nearly contemporary American breeder Fred Meyer, although there are some who think that ‘Chico’ is a copywrited name for the species cybister (or a clone), for the purpose of market control-something similar to which occurs with Hippeastrum ‘Nepal’ (H. papilio) and H. ‘Spotty’ (H. stylosum)- and ‘Reggae’ is a registered hybrid of the Papilio/Cybister lineage, but H. cybister ‘Chico’ does not reproduce so easily. As well as this, at the very center of the flower, no protrusions in H. cybister where the tepals fuse that make up the 'paraperigone' or modified corona. Totally smooth (in some members of amaryllidaceae this structure is well developed-in Narcissus, for example- is the part of the flower we call the "cup"). Traub notes H. cybister having an incurved, bearded structure. Perhaps a variable
 character, since ‘Chico' has but just a few membranous projections.
Furthermore, one character that seems unfailing in H. cybister is the form of the stigma: the receptive stigma is merely 3 lobed, rather than deeply trifid. Besides totally different habitats and colors, this was an important character in distinguishing H. cybister from H. angustifolium. 
Well I think this is all by now concerning H. cybister, hope it could have been of some help. I have taken many pictures of the bulbs this morning while repotting them, but since I am not a member of the PBS I think I cannot share them in the PBS website. I have no problem in sharing these pictures with any of you, so if you were interested please contact me privately.
My warmest regards from a cold winter night in Buenos Aires!
Mariano [mariano_saviello83@yahoo.com.ar]


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