Lycoris Report -Kansas City

James Waddick
Wed, 15 Aug 2012 21:33:22 PDT
>Regarding the Lycoris sprengeri variation in color, is there some 
>environmental factor apparently driving the variation?

Dear Gastil,
	Interesting question, but my reply may be a surprise. It is 
well known that fertility of the soil, pH and developmental 
temperatures can all influence flower color. Here I think I can rule 
out all three. These beds have not been fertilized this year, the pH 
is unaltered, too and the warm temps (very warm temps) are difficult 
to relate to pigment development temperatures.

	On the other hand I am fairly certain that all or most of my 
L. sprengeri are individual seedlings and not a a single clone. So 
the variation I am seeing is surely genetic variation in a highly 
variable species.  I did not mention in my earlier note that other 
variable show up too. The width of the petals/tepals and the shape of 
the flower. Wide petals give a lily like shape, while thinner, 
narrower tepals make a very open flower. There is some variation in 
stem height, but this year almost all are dwarfed presumably form 
lack of water.

	If I were more intense in measuring and recording, I think I 
could find other characteristics of the flower stalk that expanded 
the range of variability, but I think all are simply due to a 
genetically diverse population of bulbs.

>  My L. sprengeri seedlings' single leaves from your seeds are 4 to 6 
>cm tall. Im not sure how much sun to give them.

	In the wild I have seen Lycoris growing in fairly dense shade 
and on the edge of more open woodlands where they get some time in 
full sun (maybe 1/2 a day), but in cultivation they tolerate a lot 
more sun as long as they get even moisture year round. Some grow 
stream side in nature, but these spring streams may retreat in summer.

	By the way, L. squamigera is such an easy reliable bulb that 
nothing seems to bother, we can't help but wonder why it is not even 
more widely grown. It should also be a significant entry to the cut 
flower market.  This is one of the 'back bone' traditional bulbs in 
this area.

			Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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