Xeronema Callistemon flowering at last

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Caroline

  • Full Member
Xeronema Callistemon flowering at last
« on: December 14, 2016, 05:34:22 AM »
When I first joined the MGS Forum nearly three years ago, I was asked by my fellow-antipodean Trevor Nottle if I grew Xeronema callistemon, known as Poor Knight's Lily, and endemic to off-shore islands in the north of NZ.  I had to confess that although I had one in a pot, I had killed two others and that my surviving specimen was reluctant to flower.  However, this year, possibly after the judicious application of sheep pellets (who knows), I had a respectable set of flowers, and it only took ten years!  A picture of this miracle is below...
   
I am establishing a garden on Waiheke Island, 35 minutes out of Auckland. The site is windy, the clay soil dries out quickly in summer and is like plasticine in winter, but it is still very rewarding. Water is an issue, as we depend on tanks. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas. Caroline

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Alisdair

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
Re: Xeronema Callistemon flowering at last
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 09:03:12 AM »
A real privilege to see such a rarity, Caroline!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

JayB

  • Jr. Member
Re: Xeronema Callistemon flowering at last
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 10:32:47 AM »
Wow, what a beautiful plant. I had no idea about these until I saw this post.
Have since ordered some seed.
G'day from an Aussie in Spain. Currently attempting a total garden overhaul.

Caroline

  • Full Member
Re: Xeronema Callistemon flowering at last
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 02:49:45 AM »
Hi JayB
If you google Tawapou Coastal Nurseries you will find an article devoted to the cultivation ofXeronema callistemon, with lots of helpful tips.  Good drainage is essential.  There are also some fabulous photos, including one of a lizard on the flower of a X. callistemon.
I am establishing a garden on Waiheke Island, 35 minutes out of Auckland. The site is windy, the clay soil dries out quickly in summer and is like plasticine in winter, but it is still very rewarding. Water is an issue, as we depend on tanks. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas. Caroline