Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Camellia x Williamsii with Schizostylis

Isn't that a great title?!

It sounds like someone named Camellia has a terrible disease!

Actually, Schizostylis is the name of a plant -- the plant in the drawing above. The more common names are Kaffir Lily and Crimson Flag (a slightly different version). Actually, I don't like the name Kaffir Lily because Kaffir is the same as the name given to black people by the whites of the old South Africa -- and it was not a term of respect. So I call it Schizostylis.

The proper name is Schizostylis coccinea -- or at least that was the proper name for a long time. Recently, however, there has been some controversy over the name and so many are now calling it Hesperantha coccinea. Hesperantha means "evening flower" and coccinea means "scarlet" since the early varieties had scarlet flowers. The plant originated in South Africa although it is now found in gardens throughout many parts of the world with the proper growing season.

Doing research on this plant, I discovered that the flowers in South Africa are pollinated by a large butterfly by the name of Aerpetes and "long proboscid flies". I would love to see this large butterfly but I would just as soon not see those flies! By the way, the South Africans called this plant the "river lily" these days.

This second drawing is called Camellia x Williamsii and is another Camellia hybrid.

This is a hybrid between Camellia japonica (which I have shown you previously) and a wild camellia from western China. The hybrid is named for John Charles Williams who first planted the seeds in England in the early 1900's. Since that time many varieties have been developed. I am not exactly sure which variety this is, but it may be the "Donation".

I have been getting a lot of help recently from several friends regarding my books and now have some new plans for getting them distributed. I will give you more details as things unfold.

Peace be with you all.

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