First bloom: Crinum bulbispermum

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Crinum bulbispermum ‘Jumbo’

The largest of a batch of seed-grown Crinum bulbispermum ‘Jumbo’ is finally blooming, five years after the seed germinated.  I suspect it would have bloomed earlier if it were growing in more fertile soil, but it was worth the wait.  According to the Pacific Bulb Society Wiki, ‘Jumbo’ is a seed strain developed by the late L.S. Hannibal, who selectively bred C. bulbispermum to obtain plants with larger flowers, better color, and inflorescences that don’t flop.  My seedling has flowers that open with a deep pink flush at the base of the petals and darken as they age until they are almost red.  The 20-inch tall (51 cm) inflorescence remained upright without staking, unlike some of the other crinums I grow.

C. bulbispermum is reputed to be the most cold hardy of the South African crinums, with numerous reports of it surviving in Zones 5/6.  In my garden, most crinum foliage turns to mush at a couple of degrees below freezing, but the 3-foot long (90 cm) leaves of C. bulbispermum survive down to near 20 F (or possibly colder) and start growing again early in spring, long before the other crinums poke their noses above the mulch.

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2 thoughts on “First bloom: Crinum bulbispermum

  1. Wow that’s nice. Very exotic!
    I have the straight species which might be about a year still from blooming, but it sailed through -4F with no protection last winter. The foliage died back of course, but the shoot are coming up just fine now that things are warming up here.

    Like

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