10' elephant lilies

shic_2006(4a 5a)March 5, 2006

I just notice this item from Van Bourgondien. It says the lily grows to 10 ft with 20+ highly fragrant and large white flowers.

The other interesting lily is Tango lily with sappy black shades ...

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vicki448(z5 NEOhio)

I wouldn't buy anything from Van Bour. Check out gardenwatchdog.com for comments about them. I haven't seen the catalog, but they are probably offering Cardiocrinum(sp.) from the himalayans. If your in zone 4, you can forget it. Mine survive here pretty well in zone 5. I had one that bloomed 2 years ago. The bulb goes monocarp after blooming, but leaves alot of offsets. If you still want to try growing it i would suggest a different supplier. Hope this helps! Vicki

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 5:34PM
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Nell Jean

shic, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I don't buy from catalog vendors who don't give botanical names or at least a classification as well as the name THEY give a lily.
Look at other well known bulb vendors and see if they promote the same bulbs.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 12:14PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

one for $14.99. That does not sound like "too good to be true". They give the latin name cardiocrinum giganteum. Are we talking about the same seller? Their catalog looks fine. I think they are dutch.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 1:15PM
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Nell Jean

They say they're Americans in New Jersey, of Dutch descent, and they import bulbs. They're not the ones I was thinking of who give their bulbs 'new' names. They do list botanical names.

Shic, what exactly is your question about these bulbs?

According to a nationally known botanical garden, cardiocrinum bloom spikes can grow to 15 feet tall, but sometimes take seven years to do so. This is one you definitely can't grow in a hanging basket, as they are picky about where they grow and the bulbs get big, big. Actually, $14.99 seems cheap for a quality bulb of size.

As far as the photos in that catalog, the photos all seem a little 'over colored' as compared to what I know of some of the cultivars. Maybe they bloom more brightly colored in NJ than they are where I garden.

Vicki doesn't recommend them. I've never ventured to order from them. You could make a small order and find out for yourself what their quality and service is like and then share with us what you learn.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:35PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Nell, thank you for the advise. I agree with you on the over-colored images. I heard that they use black-light to make flowers brighter.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 12:22PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

I have ordered from them, once in the distant past, and again recently, hoping they had improved. They haven't. Both times, they sent me bulbs that weren't totally tiny or rotten, but just small enough to not be top quality. The first time, in the summer, when they finally bloomed and I knew they were the wrong color, I contacted them, and they send me the right one (supposedly) for next year. It turned out to be the wrong color also, and I got tired of spending years and the effort of planting and ripping out the wrong thing, so I didn't call again. This time, once I received the bulbs, they had a more complete name than the catalog had given. The complete name, Flevo Laguna (the catalog had only given Laguna), I already knew to be mostly purple, NOT green with purple tips, like the catalog photo and description. I called them right away and they sent me some others. Those were two other Flevos, but none were even close to the colors of the flowers in the catalog. In fact, I don't know if that color exists - certainly not in the Flevo collection. Once they all bloomed out, they were Flevos, all right, and nothing like the catalog photo. I won't order from them again, or at least not for 10 more years, when I forget how frustrated I was. Anybody who shows and describes one color but sells another is not worth the effort in my book. Also, elsewhere in their catalog, they had obviously brightened up some photos artificially. That's a danger sign to me, and I noticed it, but I just had to have those green glads tipped with purple....sigh. I should have known better.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 12:09PM
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