Stanmore Horticultural

 

Cryptostephanus vansonii

Cryptostephanus vansonii Image
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Cryptostephanus is a genus of rare plants in the Amaryllidaceae family from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia. The species are densiflorus, haemanthoides and vansonii

The more notable of the varieties, vansonii, has an attractive delicate white to pink inflorescence consisting of a moderate number of small flowers which are persistent for many weeks. These flowers when pollinated, give rise to red berries containing generally 1 to 4 seeds. Cryptostephanus vansonii seeds are mid brown in colour, have a tough outer coating and a brilliant lustre like pearls. They germinate under moderate temperatures but a consistent 24 degrees Celsius will initiate germination in approximately 3-4 weeks.

Growing conditions require a shady position in an open, well draining mix or soil. Slow release fertiliser applied during the growing season will keep the plants vigorous and flowering well. Watch for pests such as Mealy Bugs which can be controlled by a variety of pesticides or predatory insects.

This is an easy plant to grow and a delight in the garden when in flower.

The images show freshly harvested berries with the fleshy exocarp partially removed, cleaned seeds, seedlings with a second leaf rising and older plants with 3-4 leaves.