July 11, 2009

Streptocarpus dunnii

One of the reasons to go to a plant event like the Convention is the peripheral benefit of a sudden increase in curiosity - requiring immediate reading.

One such question for me - how long to bloom for Streptocarpus dunnii, known as a large unifoliate red, and one of the parents of Streptocarpus Dale's Scarlet Macaw (this year's Best New Registered Hybrid, a Dale Martens creation)? I just came across The Gloxinian, Vol. 52, No. 2 (second quarter 2002) in which Alan LaVergne reported on growing 13 unifoliate Streptocarpus species from seed to bloom. S. dunnii clocked in at 41 months. The Gesneriad Reference Web has a spectacular photo of it in situ.

[Update: in case you missed the Comment. Wallace W. says: I planted seeds of dunnii in October 1994 and the plant flowered in April 1997. It needs usually two winters to bloom. Also the soil must be very free draining like a cactus mix.]