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Author Topic: Doranthes palmeri  (Read 926 times)

Derek Halford

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Doranthes palmeri
« on: June 05, 2016, 08:59:29 AM »
Though some gardeners may not be prepared to wait for the Giant Spear Lilly to get to flowering, the normal time from seed sowing to flowering is approximately 13 years, though this one took approximately 20 years due to me shifting it twice in that time. The flower-head weighed over 150 lbs and most of the weight would have been contained in the nectar in each flower which could be sucked out through a straw. The nectar attracts the birds which pollinate the flower and as can be seen in the photo there is well over two hundred individual flowers in the spear-head.

The plant is endemic to the north-east New South Wales and south east Queensland coastal area with only a 100 known sites where it is growing. The plant is a protected variety in Australia and in New Zealand I only know of half a dozen plants that are of flower producing size.

The spear on my plant reached a height of over 5 metres. There is only two varieties in this family of lilies: Doranthes palmeri and Doranthes excelsia which is known to reach a height of up to 8 metres but takes a lesser time to reach flowering of only 8 years approximately. The spear
on my plant will only flower once then produce seed then die with pups growing round the base of the original plant, which will start the process off again. To make the pups appear more quickly, you can build a fire round the base of the plant and the heat and smoke helps the germination.
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« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 09:02:46 AM by Derek Halford »

Lesley Cox

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Re: Doranthes palmeri
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2016, 10:41:33 AM »
Welcome to the Forum Derek. I think Maggi posted photos a while back of some of your arilbred irises. Gorgeous things.

I saw magnificent plants of the Doryanthes in flower in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens a few years ago, maybe 10, and was later able to buy some seed. This germinated in a short time and grew to about 20cms before being frosted off. A fantastic plant but not really for the devoted alpine plant gardener. :D
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 10:44:03 AM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

 


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