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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Rain Lillies and Torch Gingers

Here is a photo of some Zephyranthes that were flowering in front of the house I am staying in at Fagalii (Samoa). I also got some from Alberts Peter's place Samoana Nursery at Aleisa ... wow almost two years ago. Now I have tons and tons of them. I have been planting pink ones at the back of the place I am staying at Fagalii as well as at my parent's place at Malifa and will be planting many at Alafua also. I have lots of pots of pink Zepheranthes that need to be transplanted. They are getting cramped in the pots I have them in at the moment although I have already divided some up and transplanted them into other pots.
They grow pretty well. Once they have recovered from being pulled up, divided and transplanted they grow and start to multiply. They also produce viable seeds. So whenever they flower I am out making sure all the flowers are pollinated even though that means the flowers do not last as long.
For some reason the white ones do not produce seeds. I suspect they are a hybrid because apparently some of the hybrids have this problem.
The yellow ones produce seeds but I do not have any in the ground because the African Snails go for them. Albert Peters had the same problem with his at Aleisa. the ones I bought were rather ... raggedly already. At the moment the only yellow ones I have are some I got from seeds from the ones I bought from Peters. The parent plants unfortunately got munched soon after.
The new lot are still seedings and are coming along so slowly compared to the pinks. Between the African Snails and the stupid cat sleeping on them its a wonder they are still alive.

This is a Torch Ginger the scientific name is Etlingera elatior. They belong to the Zingiberales Order and the Zingiberaceae Family.

I planted a stand at the back of the house at Malifa. I got the suckers from Tanumalala which is on the crest of the mountain ridge on your way to Lefaga. From this single stand I have been able to get suckers to start 8 more stands five of which are producing lots of little suckers already. I think that the reason that the newest ones are producing suckers so quickly is because they are in soil that is loose and sandy which probably makes it easier for the suckers to come up. At least that is my theory. The original stand is in hard soil that is full of rocks. Getting the suckers off that was hard. I basically had to dig all the soil away using a bush knife and gardening trowel before I could cut the suckers free.
With the ones in the sandy soil I just stuck the bush knife in the ground estimating where the connetion was and that was it.
The fully grown branches are about 10 feet tall ... maybe more. I'm going to growing a stip of stands behind the hedge I am growing along the road and maybe another bunch along the boarder between us and the neighbours. But I have already started growing some rattle snake plants there because they grow tightly together and that will be an excellent barrier against their dogs once they get established.

The flowers of the Torch Ginger are excellent for cut flower arrangements because they last for a long time. Also you an cut them early or leave them to grow bigger for different sizes.

This is a mediumish sized flower. I have seen ones twice this size. Personally I think the little one and the medium ones look better.

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