September 2, 2010

Identifying a Nerine species

 As we begin September, both day length and temperatures begin to shift, both critical triggers for many Southern Hemisphere bulbs which either begin to enter dormancy in this season of change, or they initiate growth of some sort. Some species even bloom to take advantage of certain pollinators found in the newly flooded veldts and meadows of southern Africa which come out after the first autumnal rains.
 With Hurricane Earl quickly approaching and threatening our garden here near Boston, we are experiencing our own sort of autumnal rains. One plant I've been looking at lately is this Nerine species, clearly one which blooms in the autumn. This plant has been a bit of a mystery for me since I lost it's label ( how many times have I used that excuse?). I know most of the species which is could be, and now that I've posted the big question on the popular-amongst-bulb-geek site, Pacific Bulb Society ( join it), I now have some experts looking carefully at these photos who are generously offering some help in classifying it. Taxonomy is a fluid science, ever-changing as we learn more about many genus and species of plants, but I am certain that we should be able to come close since there are not that many species within the Nerine genus, and fewer with grassy, evergreen foliage and flowers which appear in the autumn.

 The flowers are rather small, smaller than 1 inch, I actually believed that they were closer to 1 inch by my eye, but a ruler, and a rather primitive preschool one at that, still helped. The peduncle is around 9 inches ( the longest one, but then, the inflorescence is not fully mature yet). The pedicle is about 1 inch in length. ( I know, I need a good metric ruler- it's on my list).

 For scale, a Pellegrino liter bottle, factor in that the long-tom pot is on an upturned pot.

1 comment :

  1. Beautiful plants. I hope the Pacific Bulb Society guys will help you to classify it.


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