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Brunsvigia josephinae

The spectacular Brunsvigia josephinae has the largest flower cluster in the Amaryllis family.  With a massive bulb up to 9 inches wide, it is said to be the world's largest bulb!  The "Candelabra Lily", also known as "Josephine's Lily", makes a radiating flower cluster almost 3 feet across!  This rare South African native is a long-lived bulb, and it's easy to grow in the right conditions.

Brunsvigia josephinae

Brunsvigia josephinae comes from an area with a very dry summer, so it has adapted by going dormant for the summer, and growing during the rainy winter.  It makes about 8 to 20 attractive, bluish-green leaves, each about 18-24 inches long.  In late spring, the leaves die back and the bulb lays dormant for the summer.  In late summer, before the new leaves appear, it sends up its dramatic flower stalk.  The scape has about 30 to 50 scarlet flowers, each about 2 inches long.  The unusually long flower stems serve as landing pads for birds, especially hummingbirds.  The bulb reaches flowering size at about 10-11 years old.  You might be able to cross-breed it with Amaryllis belladonna and related species.

Brunsvigia josephinae - Candelabra Lily

The plant does best between 40 degrees and the low-80s (5-28C) during the growing season of October to April (in the Southern hemisphere, April to October).  The leaves can probably tolerate a light frost, but i recommend protecting the plant from freezing temperatures.  The bulb should be kept relatively dry during the summer dormancy, and given regular watering during the growing season.  It has flowered in a 5 gallon pot, but i recommend growing it in a 10 gallon pot (or in the ground, in suitable areas).  Grow it in fast-draining soil, with part of the bulb exposed.  A good soil mix is equal parts of sand, compost, and pumice rock or fine gravel.  It prefers full sun in winter.

Brunsvigia josephinae - Josephine's Lily

Brunsvigia josephinae - Josephine's Lily

 

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Turquoise Puya

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