Pseudogaltonia Clavata

Jacob Knecht
Thu, 15 Jul 2010 19:43:15 PDT

Ahh. Still, good for you!  Clearly you are a patient person.  I think ours
have 19 years to go if we are counting down from the 21 years that Harry
Hay's bulbs took to bloom.  They are strong germinators, quite fun to see
how fast they develop in the first two weeks of their life.  Nhu and I split
seeds between he in California under lights and I in Hawai'i under sun and
rain (protected from winter rain).  His seedlings have not grown as fast,
but he has had no losses whereas mine have bulked up faster but the humidity
caused only three out of two dozen to come back in year two!   This year my
Hawaiian seedlings have 1.5cm wide leaves while the CA - florescent light
reared ones have much thinner leaves.

This species' native haunts of Angola, Botswana, and Namibia (Ricthersveld)
surely provide abundant sunshine and heat during the summer growing season.
I have found that conditions in Hawai'i are very good for fattening up East
Cape and tropical African bulbs (not E. Cape Ledebouria though, they hate
the warm nights).  As Mary Sue suggested, I wonder too if under the strong
solar conditions of Hawai'i, Pseudogaltonia will not take as long as 21
years to bloom?  Nhu and I keep meticulous records so I can promise we'll be
able to provide data in the future.

I do have an older bulb of unknown age that seems to be in the vicinity of
blooming size but it's anyone's guess as to when it will bloom.  It is
growing in a large pot in southern California and is not protected from
winter rain.  It grows glorious glaucous leaves each summer out of curious
coconut-like bulb.  In Graham Duncan's article on this species in IBS's
Bulbs (vol. 11, 2010) says that this species can rot if it gets too much
winter rain, notably in the suburbs south of Cape Town.

Slow plants may be a bore, but it is nice to have something to look forward

I admire your pioneering work creating Seneca Hill Perennials and have
enjoyed your travelogues to South Africa.

Jacob Knecht


On 15 July 2010 15:19, Ellen Hornig <> wrote:

> Bloomed them?  No!  They just germinated a few weeks ago.  From what I
> understand, they will bloom when I'm 80, plus or minus a few years (I'm 59
> now).  Hope it's worth the wait. :-)
> Ellen

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