}

November 11, 2006

tiny Nerine rehmannii


Nerine rehmanii

This tiny Nerine, is very small, the flowers reach barly four inches high. Nerine rehmannii is native to Swaziland in South Africa, and I just wanted to show you one of the species since I have been focusing on the fancier NErine sarniensis hybrids so much. Although not truly rare, this is a bulb which is very hard to find but look while ordering your unusual bulbs in the summer catalogs, ( again, look at Paul Christians rare plant site in the UK, and Odyssey and Telos here in the states, I have only seen this sold once), since it is shipped then while it is dormant. Not difficult to grow, it should fill a pot in a few years, we shall see.


I have seen nice pots of this species on some collector sites, so hopefully it will grow and thrive for me. As you can see, it seems quite precious since the flower umbel is no larger than my fingernail, and the foliage is thread-like.

November 4, 2006

Peak Nerine sarniensis bloom


A selection of Nerine sarniensis crosses, most from the United Kingdom's National Collection, kept by Ken Hall at Springbank Nursery on the Isle of White. As is still alot of taxonomic uncertainty, please use these representatives loosly, since I have duplicate clones that are, well, different. Regardless, all are still beautiful, and I can't imagine autumn without these relatives of the Amaryllis in bloom.

Here are a selection of named varieties which mostly are from the U.K. and a few unnamed varieties. Known commonly as the Guersey lily, Nerine sarniensis are relatively unknown in the U.S., if one does find Nerine available at a garden center or catalog, most likely it will be the other autumn flowering Nerine, N. bowdenii. N. sarniensis reportedly are known as Guernsey Lilies because of a ledgend about a ship bound from South Africa, sunk off the shore of Guernsey, and hundreds of bulbs washed ashore, where they are now naturalized.

Nerine sarniensis are noted for another strange phenomenon, they sparkle when sunlight refracts or reflects off of them, something Victorian growers in England called Gold (on some red varieties like Wolsey) or silver Dusting. See some of the photos below to see how spectacular this sparkling can be. Also, some varieties have wavy petals, an effect that many breeders try to target while breeding. In my own breeding efforts, just getting seed to take has been enough to ask for! But since I have had some luck getting these normally 'challenging-to-bloom' species to over perform this year, hopefully, I can now start to attempt a bit of a breeding program.


Nerine sarniensis 'Wolsey'

This Nerine sarniensis hybrid is a seedling selection bred by Harry Dalton, and acquired from Ken Hall's National Collection in the U.K.


Nerine sarniensis 'Rushmere Star'
One of the few N. sarniensis hybrids available from a couple of rare bulb dealers in the U.S.


I lost the name tag on this Nerine sarniensis Hyb, but it may be November Cheer. Any ideas?


Nerine sarniensis var. curvifolia f. fothergillii 'Major'

Taxonomy aside, this bulb had the largest flower in my collection. yet the name is questionable. I am simply using the Royal Horticultural Society's name for now, please send me your comments regarding taxonomy and cultivar, this genus is still pretty confusing.


Nerine sarniensis 'Lyndhurst Salmon'


Nerine sarniensis 'Hanley Castle'


Nerine sarniensis 'Cynthia Chance'


Nerine sarniensis ' Berlioz'


Nerine sarniensis 'Blanchefleur'

November 3, 2006

Nerine sarniensis 1



Finally, I am home after traveling for work all month. Hopefully, November will be a little less hectic, although, I do have a book due to the publisher, and new projects are work.

Upon arriving home, I was shocked at what was in bloom in the greenhouse. So over the next few days, I will be updating daily to catch everyone up. There are so many things happening under the glass, that it will take many postings to catch up.

Here is a shot of a group of Nerine sarniensis, which I took while home for one day last week. Many of these are now past, but many more have come out.

Besides blooming, other greenhouse drama's have occured. The gas heater exploded, so that had to be fixed last week. Well, not exploded, but flames shot out and burned wires, and the bottom of the heater blew off. I hate those things anyway. Even though the glass was all repaired two weeks ago, three large panes 30 inches each slid off last night and smashed into a million shards into the raised rock bed, Weeding will be fun next year!