Bowiea volubilis seed production

David Schaeffer via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Tue, 05 Jan 2021 15:04:09 PST
As per request, attached are a current photo of what I'm calling the
typical form - this particular plant is about 3 and 1/2 in across and just
divided for the first time at just under 4 yrs old from a bulb scale
cutting - and an older shot of the "nana". The pic isn't the best but it
does show the characteristically more robust and erect "branches" on the
inflorescence. The bulb was below soil level at the time of the photo. For
those who care about these things, the B. volubilis "nana" is an
incorrigible summer grower, breaking dormancy in May or June. Seeds ripen
and the vines begin to yellow in September/October, but I've never seen it
manage to shut down on its own before frost - I have to bring it in.

On Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 3:56 PM XYZ2 in Virginia via pbs <
pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net> wrote:

> Dave, would you mind posting  a photo of your Bowiea "nana" and your Bowiea
> "bloated montster"?
>
> It might aid in the discussion............
>
> Thanks,
>
> Bern
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pbs [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net] On Behalf Of
> David Schaeffer via pbs
> Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 3:15 PM
> To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net>
> Cc: David Schaeffer <schaefferdallen@gmail.com>
> Subject: [pbs] Bowiea volubilis seed production
>
> Since I mentioned Bowiea in a recent post...what's the deal with Bowiea and
> selfing? I have had Bowiea "nana" for many years and it selfs easily and
> prolifically - I find myself discarding large amounts of harvested seed, in
> fact.
>
> I assume "nana", which I obtained from Grigsby's (well, a nursery that
> obtained it from Grigsby's) is what used to be called B. kilimandscharica -
> it certainly matches the few photos I can find of that plant and is
> obviously distinct from the "typical" horticultural form (the familiar
> bloated monster with its wispy vine).
>
> But said "bloated monster" seemingly will not self. I've even tried one of
> Steve Hammer's mesemb tricks, applying pollen on consecutive days, to no
> avail. I often get fruit, but they yellow and wither along with the vine at
> the end of the season, containing no viable seed. OTOH, I see seed offered
> for sale with some regularity, particularly from European sellers.
>
> I recall academic references to B. volubilis showing frequent
> irregularities
> during meiosis, and some websites mentioning the plant doesn't set seed
> often.
>
> What's your experience with the "typical" B. volubilis - the type with
> potentially fist-sized bulbs and finer-branched pendant inflorescences,
> whose bulbs tend to stay at the surface of the soil - as far as seed
> production goes?
>
> Thanks and regards,
>
> Dave
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