Six on Saturday #46 (August 3, 2019)

It has been more than two months since I managed to get a Six on Saturday post together, so this is a catch-up post:  six plants that have bloomed since S.O.S. #45.

1. Bletilla Yokohama ‘Kate’  (Flowered in late May)

Bletilla_Yokohama

As I previously posted, Bletilla species and hybrids are among the easiest of terrestrial orchids to grow.  B. Yokohama is a hybrid of B. striata and B. formosana, and it blooms about a month after B. striata in my garden.  The habitat of B. formosana in Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands is subtropical, probably trending towards tropical, but B. Yokohama is fully hardy in my garden during the winter.  The new growth is tender, like that of B. striata, and must be protected from late frosts in spring.  The flowers have better form than those of B. striata, and the inflorescences are daintier.

2. Gardenia jasminoides (Hardy gardenia; flowered in early to mid June)

Gardenia

This evergreen shrub, with its fantastic fragrance, is a perennial favorite in southern gardens.  I have two different single-flowered clones which are efficiently cross-pollinated, presumably by moths, and produce lots of attractive red fruit in autumn.  Birds spread the seeds around, and I have started to find volunteer seedlings–a nice bonus that you won’t get if you grow the sterile double-flowered clones.

My plants were badly damaged by cold during the winter of 2017/2018, but they sprouted vigorously from their trimmed stumps, and it is hard now to see where they were cut.

2. Hippeastrum ‘Mead Strain’ (Garden Amaryllis; flowered in early June)

Hippeastrum Meads_strain

This Hippeastrum hybrid is the product of crosses made by Theodore Mead about 100 years ago.  Its background appears to include a large percentage of genes of the Bolivian species Hippeastrum vittatum, and similar hybrids often masquerade as that species in cultivation.  Bulbs of the Mead Strain are common heirloom plants in southern gardens, and a very similar clone is passed around by gardeners in my parent’s neighborhood in Texas.

4.  Lobelia laxiflora subsp. laxiflora ‘Candy Corn’ (Flowers intermittently all summer)

Lobelia Candy_Corng2
This Mexican Lobelia species is much more drought tolerant than our native L. cardinalis, so I grow it in a hot,sandy bed beside the driveway.  Its bloom season overlaps with that of L. cardinalis (see photo #3 here), and both species are visited by hummingbirds, but I haven’t found any volunteer hybrids yet.  I live in hope.

Lovelia Candy_Corn

5. Eucomis cf. zambesiaca (Pineapple lily; flowered in July)

Eucomis_zambesiaca

All of the Eucomis species and hybrids from southern Africa seem to be hardy in North Carolina, but many of them scorch and wilt in hot sun.  They require bright light to grow well, so this heat sensitivity creates a cultural conundrum.  This small variety sold as Eucomis autumnalis by the big bulb vendors is the most resistant to wilting of all the Eucomis that I have grown.  It looks very little like a true E. autumnalis that I bought from a specialist nursery, and I am fairly sure that it is actually E. zambesiaca, possibly the clone ‘White Dwarf.’

6.  Iris domestica (Blackberry lily; Currently flowering)

Iris Hello_Yellow
Iris domestica ‘Hello Yellow’

Iris domestica (formerly Belamcanda chinensis) is an old garden favorite, but most of the nurseries around here sell the newer all-yellow clones like ‘Hello Yellow.’  I really wanted the old fashioned wild-type orange form, too, and about two years ago I found a few plants growing wild along a power line cut.  I collected seed, and the resulting seedlings started flowering this summer, about 18 months after germination.

Iris_domestica

The Propagator is the host of Six on Saturday.  Head over there to see his Six and find links to the blogs of other participants.

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8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday #46 (August 3, 2019)

  1. Hi Nick, I also grow eucomis that are flowering right now and I noticed that they needed water quite often. The hot summer we have is not compatible with full sun and light or you have to monitor them often. I also grow lobelias but L cardinalis and you did well to share this variety more tolerant to drought. Thank you. Finally, very beautiful irises !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is an interesting gardening with single flowers. It seems that everyone who moves here from Texas wants to grow gardenias, but they are rarely happy here. Like peonies, I sometimes see one doing very well in a situation where it should not be happy. However, I rarely see those that are planted in good situations and pampered doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Those are the two main concerns; aridity and slight alkalinity. What is weird though, is that, while most are very unhappy here, the most of the few that are healthy are in in exposed situations (where the aridity is enhanced), and is some of the more alkaline soils. They are not happier in the more acidic and more humid redwood forests

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great selections as always!
    I bet you could have saved me from a bit of eucomis troubles if you did house calls. I’ve got a pot of seedlings which have been struggling and dying back and now that you mention sun scorch I believe that’s the problem. They were labeled as autumnalis but I suspect they’re the same as yours. I moved them to a shadier spot a few weeks ago and they look much better now so hopefully I’ve found the right balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your photos were well worth the 2 month wait. That’s one wild amaryllis you’ve go there. Love the gardenia – just, wow. And the pineapple lilies are so CUTE!

    Liked by 1 person

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