Tony Avent
Tue, 22 Mar 2011 13:41:04 PDT

We haven't flowered the C. catheyanum yet, but here is an image of the foliage.  Seed are from Chanticleer Gardens in PA.…

I'm uncertain which C. giganteum we grow.

Regarding the monocarpic discussion, it seems we just don't have enough terms...or the plants just don't cooperate with our artificial categories.  We have plants like agaves, where some species flower and die completely, while other species offset freely.  Yet other (offsetting and non-offsetting) agave species form vegetative bulbils on the old flower stalk.  So, which are true monocarps?  When botanizing in California a few years ago, I was surprised to see offsetting forms of Yucca whipplei, a plant I only knew as a non-offsetting monocarp.

Yucca filamentosa is often called monocarpic because each rosette dies after flowering, but like bromeliads, the rhizome produces new shoots. Of course, the form of Yucca filamentosa that grows along the SC/GA line never offsets from the rhizomes, and therefore dies after flowering.  Hedychium and musa stalks each produce only one inflorescence then die, but they offset and new stalks can flower the same season.  Ensete, however, never offset.

It sounds like we need new terms to distinguishes between the time between the main stalk flowers and the subsequent flowering of the clonal offsets.  Perhaps monocarps should apply only to plants which must be reproduced from seed after flowering compared to vegetative monocarps, which are the plants which reproduce from offsets after flowering. These could be further split into annual or seasonal monocarps (flower annually) and multi-seasonal monocarps (requiring more than one season to re-flower from offsets)
One thing for sure..."grey area" discussions like this must drive bipolar people nuts.


Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Jim McKenney
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:27 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Cardiocrinum

Tony, are you sure the plants you have as Cardiocrinum cathayanum are true to name? Do you have an image posted somewhere that we can see?

Also, my limited experience with these plants suggests that Cardiocrinum g. giganteum is a difficult plant under our conditions (not too different from North Carolina conditions) but C. giganteum yunnanense is a reliable garden plant under our conditions.

Jim McKenney

More information about the pbs mailing list