Daubenya capensis and appressed leaves

Roy Herold rrherold@gmail.com
Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:43:52 PST

It's difficult to tell from your photo, but I'm guessing your plant is
Daubenya stylosa. It is the another yellow daubenya, and from what I
have heard most of the D capensis seed distributed by Silverhill in
recent years is really D stylosa. You might want to check for
fragrance on your flower on a warm day--if it smells sweet like honey,
it is probably D stylosa, like yeast, probably D capensis. It is
definitely NOT a lachenalia, IMHO.

That said, you might ask what growing conditions for Daubenyas will
ensure fully adpressed leaves? My own moderately mature bulbs of
Daubenya stylosa, marginata, alba, comata, zeyheri, et al, all have
leaves that are raised from the surface of the soil by 10 to 80
degrees (guessing). Polyxenas have the same behavior, but I'm not
clear on how they behave in the wild. The Massonias are much easier to
grow 'in character' with the leaves flat on the surface of the soil.

Just guessing, I wonder if the temperature of the soil surface might
come into play. If the soil stays too warm, as might happen in a pot
in a greenhouse, the leaves might be reluctant to come in contact with
it. Outdoors, where the soil cools off much faster during the night,
may induce the leaves to adpress. Many of these Daubenyas come from
the colder areas of South Africa, where nightly frosts in winter are
the norm.  I try to leave all of my Daubenyas and Massonias outdoors
until the first heavy frost here, and that really helps to put the
leaves down where they belong. I brought mine in just before our
October snowstorm, but that was probably a bit too early given the
continuing warm temps here.

Light matters too, but probably to a secondary degree. Your leaves
don't look etiolated, just juvenile. My own greenhouse gets much, much
less light than yours, yet the Daubenyas behave more or less the same.

All very mysterious.

NW of Boston

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