What triggers Ammocharis longifolia bloom?

M Gastil-Buhl gastil.buhl@gmail.com
Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:07:51 PDT
I received an *Ammocharis longifolia* (formerly *Cybistetes longifolia*)
bulb from Mary Sue via the BX in 2013. At that time it was already 7 years
old. A wiki photo shows this bulb as received.

I potted it in a lean medium of pumice, coarse sand and compost, with a
topping of coarse sand, in an 8" terracotta clay pot. It grows leaves in
the winter (what would normally be our rain season), with supplemental
irrigation. I let it dry in summer and the leaves senesce. I keep the pot
in a sunny location, with partial shade in afternoon. It has been exposed
to occasional light frosts each winter. It has not bloomed for me.

Can those who grow this species offer advice what culture has encouraged it
to bloom for them? Should I place it where the pot will receive more baking
sun heat during the summer? I doubted I should water it at all when it is
dormant, but a possible response to late summer rain is mentioned on the
wiki page. Or perhaps it needs more winter chill?

A query to GBIF shows observations in the west coast of South Africa
mostly. But even within that region climate varies. Relatively dry and
sparsely vegetated landscapes appear in the photographs on GBIF, both in
bloom and in leaf (at separate times.) The leaves in the GBIF photos are
wider than my bulb's leaves.

This Veld&Flora article by John Manning says early autumn rains trigger
this species to bloom. Fire is not mentioned.
I garden in a climate more mild than the Richtersveld.

Thank you,
Santa Barbara, California,
maybe zone 9b or 10a or Sunset 24 plus frost,
where Amaryllis belladonna are pink bloom rockets now.
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