So! A very long time with no update to the blog. I would have to say that nothing new has happenend, or so it felt to me. Things were getting to be too repetitive, so I let it rest. Well, finally, something new has indeed happened.
New Species First Blooms
Two species that I have been growing for rather a long time have finally bloomed, at long last, for the first time in my greenhouse. One is Hymenocallis franklinensis, and the other is Ammocharis (formerly Crinum) baumii. These two events are worth reporting.
I posted this to my Facebook page the other day: "Hymenocallis franklinensis is a narrowly endemic species found only in one river system in the Panhandle region of Florida. It is similar to Hymenocallis crassifolia, but the flowers are said to be larger. I got these from Vic Lambou in 2004, and this is the first time they have bloomed for me; I suspect I have not been growing them quite right. I don't know if these will set seeds; the first plant finished flowering before the last one started to bloom. Not common in collections, so far as I know."
The flowers are smaller than Hymenocallis liriosme, indeed the whole plant is much smaller than liriosme. My plants of franklinensis are both showing red streaks, probably Stagnospora. It started doing better when I started watering its pots all through the winter, which it spends under a bench inside a greenhouse. On the other hand, the Stagnospora might be due to the additional moisture. It looks like a trade-off.
Ammocharis baumii is blooming for the first time for me. Grown from seeds from Dr. Lehmiller, from plants collected in Namibia. It took ten years. I received 6 seeds in 2003 from the I.B.S. seed exchange. I now have 3 plants, and two are blooming. Previously classified as Crinum baumii, now known to belong in Ammocharis. The single flower per scape is characteristic of this dwarf species.
The genus Ammocharis has grown by leaps and bound in recent years, not so much by the discovery of new species as by the realizations that several old species in other genera were actually members of this genus. Ammocharis baumii used to be considered Crinum baumii. Cybistetes longifolia has recently become Ammocharis longifolia. Crinum nerinoides is now Ammocharis nerinoides.
Other things in bloom
Several other plants have been blooming: Hymenocallis liriosme (the almost hardy form in the ground); Hymenocallis guerreroensis; Hymenocallis imperialis; Hymenocallis eucharidifolia (still just in bud); Haemanthus humilis hirsutus; Zantedeschia pentlandii; Crinum bulbispermum and Crinum [variabile x bulbispermum]; Caliphruria korsakoffii; Proiphys cunninghamii.
Good gardening, from here in central Indiana
Look up technical terms in the Glossary of Plant Biology