Phaedranassa tunguraguae

Phaedranassa tunguraguae

One to two oval leaves below a 30 cm stem with a cluster of up to 15 tubular flowers of bright red with the base and flaring tips of the petals marked in moss-green.

In the centre is a protruding circle of bright yellow anthers. The overall colour combination is as lovely as it is striking.

Flowers appear after dormancy and if a good period of growth is allowed before drying then the plant can be flowered twice a year. Ecuador.

Readily grown in either a large pot or a greenhouse bed, of fertile loam and can be lifted and stored dry and frost-free over winter before replanting in late spring.

Phaedranassa tunguraguae
Phaedranassa tunguraguae

Phaedranassa glauciflora

This species from Ecuador has a totally pink perianth – this includes the tube. The ends of the petals are green with white margins. Both the filaments and style are white.

In height this can make from 80-100 cm tall and it is a stately and attractive, if very rare, species.

Obtained originally from a European Botanical garden and propagated here from material traceable to the type locality at Chimbora.

Seems to thrive on a fertile but very well-drained soil and a degree of neglect with regard to watering!

Phaedranassa cinerea

Phaedranassa cinerea

A stunning South American Amaryllid for cultivation under glass.

Large, long flowers with a dusky blue green tube, a thin white ring and a lovely crimson apex which contrasts the protruding yellow anthers superbly.

Readily grown and flowered and a very worthwhile species. If forcibly dried off and given a few weeks dry, warm dormancy and then re-watered, this can be flowered at virtually anytime of the year, and indeed a few times a year if the process is repeated.

Phaedranassa cinerea
Phaedranassa cinerea

Phaedranassa viridiflora

Phaedranassa viridiflora

This grows from smallish, slightly elongated bulbs. In summer growth starts with the production of blue-green, elliptic leaves some 10 cm wide, these are present at flowering time.

The flowers are yellow, with green tips to the segments and are borne on 30 cm stems in spring. It shows some yellow on the green part of the flower. Each tubular bloom is 1.5 cm wide and up to 8 cm long and they are borne in small clusters.

We find that thisĀ likes a loam-based soil (not peat based or multi-purpose type composts) with good drainage but plenty of water when in growth. In winter it must be stored dry and frost-free as this is not a hardy plant in the UK. Restart it with good warmth and an initial deluge of weak high-nitrogen fertiliser from late April onward (not sooner) and as late as midsummer. This deluge of fertiliser starts growth and helps to promote flowering by ensuring that the developing leaves reach their maximum potential.

Be warned it is a shy-flowering plant unless you get conditions right and even when perfect, getting plants to flower may take years. The fertiliser inundation definitely seems to help, as does being good and warm when you start the bulbs into growth. Urceolina also appreciates being left alone and is best not dug up and cleaned each year. Best of all, and if you really want to see flowers, then plant it in a greenhouse bed of rich loam, don’t lift or replant at all, feed it regularly and copiously, water it well when its in growth and keep it bone dry when it is dormant, above all, be patient. You may have to wait a few years before you see flowers. After many years of growing this, I am now inclined to say that it flowers very badly and looks stressed when grown in pots or even tubs.

Its natural home is Peru, though this stock is an old Van Tubergen stock which has been in cultivation for over 50 years, perhaps even longer. (It originally came to Van Tubergen under the name of Urceolina urceolata). It does display leaf yellowing after transplanting, leave it alone and this vanishes with establishment. We have heard it said that this is virus, that is not proven but we feel it fair to advise you that some say it is, others say that is nonsense and it is the nature of the plant.

Phaedranassa viridiflora
Phaedranassa viridiflora