Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hippeastrum striatum --- A Miniature Species

Hippeastrum striatum is a beautiful species from Brazil and Argentina with spectacular orange flowers that measure only a few inches across.  This species has been used extensively for breeding small/miniature or as called the "sonatini" Hippeastrum.  There are many hybrids that have distinct characteristics of H. striatum such as: 'Voodoo', 'Christmas Star' and 'Piccolo'. A wonderful benefit of using H. striatum in breeding is that it passes the ability to mature very quickly in its progeny and only requires a bulb the size of a small kiwi fruit to bloom (in most cases).

There are lots of variation within' this species and quite a few synonyms such as rutilum, flugida, crocatum and several others.  It's a large debate whether H. petiolatum and H. striatum are the same species, their growing habits and flowers have very similar charecteristics.

This clone and many others are self-fertile, sadly it only produces two flowers per scape, a common trait amongst Hippeastrum species  It seems to bloom twice a year at minimum, once in Spring and usually once in late Fall, this would be spectacular if passed into its progeny as the Hippeastrum flowering season is short lived.  H. striatum is quite easy to cultivate: it resists rot well, it blooms very regularly, it tolerates frost and grows just as well in full sun as it does in partial shade. I would suggest this species for those interested in growing Hippeastrum, it's quite rewarding!

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