Your favorite crinum?

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)June 24, 2009

My old milk and wine crinums are stopping traffic this year. I have had them three or four years and this year, they are really hitting their stride. I particularly love them because they get going just as my daylilies are petering out. My crinum lust is in full swing, but I am running out of space.

So, what is your absolute favorite crinum, based on length of bloom and re-bloom season? I have never seen a picture of a single one I don't like, but if it has to be staked or babied, I'd like to know that.

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'Emma Jones', no question. Has to be staked (the scapes are almost 6' tall), but that just gives you more "up close and personal" time with those huge flowers!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 4:20AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I was hoping you would respond, bubba. Does Emma repeat bloom well? I have been eyeing her, for sure. Do you know of anyplace that sells Emma other than Plant Delights? If I get her, I would want to get at least three. (makes my head spin! $)
Also, how would you describe the color of Emma Jones blooms?

I have Ellen Bosanquet, but at least so far, she only blooms once a year. If you have this one, is that your experience? I have been considering pulling it out and planting something that gives me more bang in the space.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Donna- I would love to see pictures of your crinums! This is my first year planting this bulb. So far I'm impressed and confused. Here is a photo of my first to bud and the tag simply said 'Striped'. I can't locate that in searching as a real name, but it is my favorite so far!

The photo shows the buds with one flower already spent, by the next day they all were spent. I never got to see them open, so I'm not sure if it was too hot or if that is just what they do... I have them planted in a bulb border with sandy, well drained soil that receives full sun. I am looking forward to traffic stopping results from them one day hopefully! Any ideas or observations would be appreciated.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 4:38AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

That's a beautiful crinum. I just ordered (lust kicked in :) Stars and Stripes which looks like it will be similar to yours. I am not an expert, have only been growing them for four years now, and some of mine have yet to bloom, but I can say that my Milk and Wines behave just as you said: they open and last for a day. I cut the blooms off near the spot that they come out of the big stem, until all the buds have opened on a stem. (I don't let them go to seed since I want blooms.) Then, when they finish, I cut the stem off at the ground. I just read today that rain (or probably a good sprinkling) triggers them to rebloom. My four year old clumps have been blooming for a good month now and have put up three nice flushes. This is the first year that the clumps are making multiple stems at the same time. Last year they continued to rebloom like this until November, although the amount of rebloom varies with the variety you have. They love water and fertilizer. Per my reading, I top dress all the clumps with Black Kow each fall and then give them a good sprinkle of cottonseed meal in early spring (February or March) and late spring (May).

I found a Florida grower on E-bay who has lots of varieties for sale. I just ordered Elizabeth Traub, Mrs. James Hendry, Stars and Stripes, and Cecil Houdyshel. According to Scott Ogden, these are all great long bloomers. She doesn't have Emma Jones available, at least this year. Nevertheless, I am very excited to add these to my collection: Milk and Wine (passalongs), White Queen, Fred Howard, Ellen Bosanquet, Amarcrinum, Powellii Album, and Sangria.

These bulbs bloom as well as Daylilies, maybe better as they get older, and require only a fraction of the maintenance. They take several years to get established and really hit their stride, but they are fast becoming some of my favorite plants.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 3:36PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Wooo-hoo! I found Emma Jones! The Ebay seller I ordered from has it in his private stock. It always pays to ask questions!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:14AM
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