Crinum Brisbanicum showing its stunning iridescence

steven hart
Thu, 26 Jan 2012 07:08:58 PST
Crinum Brisbanicum showing its stunning iridescence in the morning sun......
 I am about to add this species to the wiki, but i haven't had a chance to
work it out properly yet....

This is three plants from my collection of  C. Brisbanicums,  the
species has a marked degree of growth & petal variation, the top link is my
favorite & is quite different to the one i showed last season. which is the
bottom link.

It has a more evenly shaped petal with cupped edges & with far greater
iridescence than all the others. They are all divinely fragrant with the
usual crinum musk fragrance but with delightful hints of jasmine. It is
just irresistible on a gentle breeze.…
copyright warning !…
This one is very similar, slightly less iridescent in general & is showing
its pure white in full sun. The pollen is rarely seen after 10am because
the 5mm long Australian native sting-less bees harvest all pollen making it
difficult to pollinate sometimes, they completely strip every last grain.

This one has a consistently larger slightly back turned petal with little
or no cupping & a greater parabolic curvature to the petal edge & is almost
as iridescent as the top one.…

Seeds are recalcitrant & are unable to be stored, usually sprouting in as
little as one week in warm weather, making it difficult to export. I am
able to fetch extremely high prices for seed as they are extremely
difficult to source & plants produce very few seeds.

The species is endemic to Queensland & to the border of Northern NSW, small
family groups are usually fragmented & uncommon, flower spikes average 60cm
tall from the base & tower above the 2.5cm wide snake like leaves, spikes
fall as seeds mature & gently place the next generation exactly 60 cm from
the parent plant, ensuring movement of the small colonies by half a meter a
year. Leaves usually snake along the ground for up to a meter, healthy
plants can measure 2 meters in diameter or greater in perfect conditions,
however depending on conditions plants can be more upright with shorter
leaves. Bulbs can be 60cm deep or more in its preferred deep sandy loam
soil. I have seen them growing in rock hard paddocks & on shale cliffs in
shallow pockets but they do prefer alluvial flats. They are extremely
drought tolerant once established.

Habitat is quickly diminishing beneath housing developments,
water-catchments, highways & farm paddocks for this unusual species. It is
not well known even in its local environment & is rarely protected or even
noticed by developers. Flowering window is short, usually December &
January after good rain fall. Spikes can develop in as little as a week.

I try to cross pollinate this species every year, just for fun, but it is
known for its inability to be cross pollinated.

I intend to continue doing all that i can to ensure the survival of this
quickly diminishing species & hope my posts spark interest in its
protection through personal conservation.
Steven Hart
Esk Queensland Australia

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