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Phaedranassa carmiolii - the Queen Amaryllis

From Costa Rica comes the beautiful, rare Phaedranassa carmiolii, the "Queen Amaryllis".  This hard-to-find Amaryllis relative has the unusual ability to flower multiple times per year!  Its stunning, pink and green blooms are quite different from most common bulbs.  Despite its exotic appearance, the Queen Amaryllis is easy to grow when given the right conditions.  Mature bulbs are rarely seen for sale.

Phaedranassa carmiolii - the Queen Amaryllis

The Queen Amaryllis forms a big, baseball-sized bulb, from which several attractive leaves appear.  The leaves are thick and glossy, and grow 15 to 20 inches long.  The flower stalk is equally long, and contains about 8 to 10 blooms.  The trumpet-shaped flowers spill out two or three at a time, which prolongs the show.  The blooms are a vivid shade of deep pink, and have a bluish-green ovary and petals.  The plant may be induced to flower by withholding water for 2 months, which creates a mini-dormancy and usually makes it flower the following month.  You can therefore get 2 or possibly 3 flower shows per year!  Over time, the bulb makes numerous babies, which you may separate.

Phaedranassa carmiolii - the Queen Amaryllis

Phaedranassa comes from an area with mild temperatures, and cooler nights.  It has handled temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s (30C), but i don't know how it will fare in warmer conditions, especially if nights are warm.  In hotter climates, it may be wise to induce dormancy during the summer by letting the soil dry out, then store it in a cool spot until Autumn.  There are reports of the dormant bulb handling winter temperatures down to the low- to mid-20s (-5C) if planted deep, however i would protect it from all frost if you want it to grow throughout winter.  

The plant grows well in a 2 gallon pot (8 liters), which may be moved indoors for the winter.  It prefers mostly sunny conditions, although some afternoon shade may be appreciated in warmer areas.  It likes well-draining soil, such as 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts perlite or pumice, and 1 part horticultural sand.  During periods of active growth, keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy, and feed regularly.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and very fun bulb.

Phaedranassa carmioli - the Queen Amaryllis

 

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