Tecophilaea cyanocrocus "hybrids"

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:23:00 PDT
> On Aug 24, 2016, at 11:06 AM, Jane McGary <janemcgary@earthlink.net> wrote:
> When Tecophilaea cyanocrocus was rediscovered in the wild in the mid-elevation Chilean Andes several years ago, the report (published in /Gayana/, the Chilean botanical journal) mentioned that the flowers were all, or mostly, of the "leichtlinii" pattern with a white center. I suspect that this is the typical form of the species, and that the striking all-blue form that growers consider typical is the result of selection, either of collected plants or within cultivation. It's probably not valid to designate the white-centered color form a botanical variety.

I have thought this for many years just based on the relative vigorousness of the three varieties. Not only do the “leichtlinii” type grow more vigorously during their active season, they also multiply by offsets much more rapidly than the other two varieties. And they consistently produce more flowers than the other two as well. In fact, because the pure blue variety is *so* striking, I keep trying to get it to propagate itself more, so that I can get the same effect I get from a pot packed with the “leichtlinii” flowers but with the intense blue flowers of the “cyanocrocus” variety. So I’m not surprised that the “leichtlinii” color and pattern is dominant.

Maybe it’s a climate thing, but Tecophilaea cyanocrocus is an almost carefree species for me in my climate. I know that inland Southern California valleys do not have the same climate as their native locales, but other than additional watering during dry winters, I don’t have to do anything else to get them to grow well and reproduce fairly quickly until they fill a 6-inch (15 cm) pot. They are outdoors all year round, although I keep them in shade during their summer dormancy. The soil is my standard mixture of probably 1/2 organic, 1/2 inorganic (pumice, scoria). And that’s about it. 

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

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