Ledebouria sp.

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 14 Apr 2011 07:43:36 PDT

There seems to be a fair amount of interest in our group in 
Ledebouria, but a lot of frustration too about identification of 
them. On our wiki Ledebouria page we have a lot of unidentified 
species and I have some other pictures of species from Cameron on CDs 
that are also labeled Ledebouria sp.

I have added one of my own today. I grew it from seed from Silverhill 
Seed labeled L. ovalifolia. I must not have looked it up or found out 
much about it and assumed it was a summer rainfall species so started 
the seed in April instead of in the fall and it germinated a couple 
of months later and I ended up with three bulbs. I continued to grow 
it that way, moving it undercover in the winter where it remained 
damp but not soggy during its dormancy and watering it in summer. It 
started blooming five years later and has continued to produce leaves 
in spring and bloom late spring-early summer (May to June). I never 
got around to adding photos of it to the wiki. Recently I decided to 
do that and discovered that it is unlikely that it is that species 
since that one is described in a number of my sources as having 
ascending or erect leaves. I looked back at Rhoda's introduction when 
this was a topic of the week and she stated that Hankey described 
this species as having appressed leaves, but said the ones she grew 
had semi-upright leaves. It has a broad distribution from the 
northwest Cape to the southeastern Cape so perhaps there could be 
variation in the leaves.

I asked Aaron for an opinion and he suggested L. marginata. But it 
doesn't have the distinctive margin of that species and the Venter 
description of it states it has spirally twisted tough glaucous 
leaves with prominent venation that are partly emerged with 
flowering. The leaves of my plants appear before flowering and I 
wouldn't describe them that way. He also suggested perhaps L. 
ovatifolia or L. revoluta but those leaves are usually spotted and 
the later often crisped. After struggling a bit with the Venter paper 
in Herbertia I decided the best option was to declare it another sp. 
and add it to the rest on the wiki page.

If any of you have any ideas about it or any of the others we haven't 
figured out, please speak up. The new one is at the bottom of the 
others, but opinions about any of them are welcome.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

More information about the pbs mailing list