J.E. Shields jshields104@insightbb.com
Thu, 22 Apr 2004 05:55:48 PDT
Hi folks,

I've been growing Hymenocallis off and on for 25 years here in central 
Indiana.  Needless to say, most of them have been grown in pots, but......

For years I grew the Ismene types and the Mexican Hymenocallis in the 
garden in summer and dug them and stored dry indoors in winter.  They 
flourished!  but I didn't, as it got to be a real chore handling the 
digging in Fall and the planting in Spring.  There was great increase, 
too.  However, I gave up that method years ago.

I have assembled a nice collection of Hymenocallis occidentalis, a.k.a. H. 
galvestonensis and H. caroliniana.  They are quite hardy outdoors in the 
ground all year round here.

Last summer, I tried another experiment:  I planted Hymenocallis liriosme 
outdoors in the ground.  That bulb is coming up!  I'm fairly confident that 
it is really H. liriosme, since Thad Howard got it for me from the 
wild.  The outdoors bulb was planted in a very protected spot, a few feet 
from the south end of my greenhouse.  Still, it survived the winter!

Both liriosme and occidentalis are big plants.

I have a liriosme-like plant that was originally collected from a river 
bank in southern Louisiana and was then grown on a mountain-top in Arkansas 
(USDA zone 6), although not by me in either case.  This one is blooming now 
in the greenhouse.  I'm really not sure what it is; I grow it only in pots 
here, under my number JES-664.

I am interested in the smaller Mexican species, since they have a 
pronounced dormant season in winter, don't take up a lot of space, and many 
of them bloom reliably in post.  So far, I have HH. glauca, harrisiana ex 
hort, cf. phalangides, eucharidifolia, sonorensis, lehmilleri, and ? 
woelfleana.  I recently received small bulbs of durangoensis, azteciana, 
and a new still-unnamed species collected by Thad Howard in 1994.

Mexican but neither small nor deciduous is H. acutifolia.  This one wants 
to grow in water.  I keep the pots sitting in saucers all year round, 
filled with water in summer  but more often dry in winter.  I never leave 
the pots completely dry, not even in winter.  This one grows in rivers in 
southern Mexico.

Last year, the Hymeno SIG shared some Florida species.  I am trying to grow 
HH. palmeri, puntagordensis, henryae, littoralis, and rotata.  They came 
through the winter under the benches in the clivia greenhouse and are now 
shooting green foliage up.

A Caribbean member of the Hymeno SIG shared HH. caribaea, expansa, and 
latifolia.  These are BIG plants!  I have them in 5-gallon 
containers.  These seem to have come through the winter OK, but in years 
past I had trouble getting Caribaea Group species through the winter in the 
greenhouse.  They are really tropical species.

I have a pot of Leptochiton quitoensis that are now at bloom size.  A 
friend collected these from a farm in Ecuador some years ago, and shared a 
few small offsets or seedlings with me.  They are small plants with 
relatively huge staminal cups on the flowers.  They have a long winter 
dormancy when they are kept dry but warm, under a bench in the clivia 

I started a Hymenocallis Species Interest Group last year.  We have about 
14 members at present; and we use a CC: e-mail list, not a Yahoo 
group.  Anyone interested should contact me privately 
at  <jshields@indy.net> to be added to the list.  Please include a short 
summary of your activities with Hymenocallis.

Best regards,
Jim Shields
in central Indiana

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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