S. kirkii 'Silver Blue'

Michaela(z6+ TN)August 12, 2012

The plant in this picture is somewhat rare.... or maybe I should just say not common in American collections. It has been pictured and described in Juan Chahinian's latest book, "The Splendid Sansevieria, 2005", as a kirkii species. Inflorescence at that time was not seen by Mr. Chahinian. I was pretty excited to see a bud this afternoon on this plant (pictured below) which shows that it is going to be a capitate flower.

Note the picture also shows: front and backsides of the leaves; the chestnut & white, wire thin, wavy leaf margins; and longitudinal lines on the front and back sides (some lines interrupted). I also think you can get a good feeling for the thickness (18-20 mm) of the leaves at the soil line. The leaves are quite stiff and not at all floppy.

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plantomaniac08(8)

Wow, that's some flower bud. Please do post some photos when it opens, I'd love to see it.

Planto

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Same here. Also save me some seeds when and if you get any. that is some special plant you got there. It may or may not come true from seed. But I love the gamble. Just like a box of chocolates. Never know what you get.
Now where did I hear that before at?
Seeds if any will be a year from now. Did you ever try growing from seeds befor?
Stush

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

I will be sure to post pictures as the flower opens!

While I have got seed from other Sansevierias over the years, I only planted one time. It was seed from S. metallica that I collected in the wild in Florida. It is a multiyear project to raise Sansevieria from seed (they all go through a juvenile stage) and, to me, not worth the trouble. You never see Sansevieria seed for for sale for this reason. Besides, at 69 I might not live to see the end product. Hah! It is so much easier, quicker, surer, and you get to see what you're getting when you buy a rooted pup.

I will try to artificially pollinate, however, and if seeds are produced I will be happy to freely offer them here.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:07PM
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elichka(6b)

Michaela,

I'm speechless. its so gorgeous. may I ask you how big is the plant, pot size and long you have it?

Inna

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:12PM
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woodnative(6)

Great growing Michaela! I also look forward to updates!! So I assume then that this is truly a kirkii species. I got a young plant of 'Silver Blue'a couple years ago from Bob Smoley (I don't think he currently offers it, and it was pricey). It unfortunately rotted on me one winter (though it seems to be easy enough to grow....not sure what went wrong). I did take leaf cuttings though, and started over. I now have a decent size plant but still several years from flowering. I see the leaves on yours now look more upright. Keep updating us and please do try to pollinate those flowers! That is one I would try from seed......I love the blue coloring of the juveniles!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:50AM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Wow! Mike that plant is wonderful. I saw your post on the other site too. I'm so happy for you.

I was wondering, where do you keep your Sans for the winter? While you're a bit warmer and sunnier, you're still a "northern" grower with winter cold. Having seen a few of your plants through pictures, they are not suffering from grey winter weather.

Michael

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

After a long absence, Mike's post motivated me to post a reply.
Hello old friends. Mike sure grows some beautiful Sans. I hope his pollination effort bears fruit.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Glad to see a good response to this flowering plant. To answer some questions, I've had this plant about 6-7 years. I bought it as a named pup from Juan C. I put it in a plastic pot measuring 5 inches at the top, and repotted to an 8 inch diameter pot about 4 years ago when I noticed it had started a pup. The leaves are now about 11 inches long on both pup and original plant.

I know some don't like it, but I use a peat-based mix exclusively called "Pro Mix-HP". HP stands for High Porosity which is achieved with perlite. I think this only comes in 3 cu. ft. compressed bales; it is what commercial greenhouses use in my area and it is forgiving of my overwatering habit. I severed the pup earlier this year to promote pupping.

I noticed my brother, Solar Storm, has just replied here, but he can't grow purdy plants in sunny southern CA like I can here where we get 15 degrees cold and overcast in the winter. Ha-ha!

To answer Bonsaigai, I bring plants inside my house in the winter and stick them in windows. Watering is cut way back, but they are watered maybe every 5 weeks or so - oftener if I notice wilting. We have gas heat (better for plants as electric heat is very dry).

On other news fronts, I received a personal message from a grower friend who suggested this plant looks a helluva lot like scimaritariformis. If readers have Juan Chahinians book, "The Splendid Sansevierias", read the section on the scimitar... Juan called my plant a kirkii, but MAYBE it is a scimitariformis!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:02PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

MIke,
Your soil mix proves the point that each grower has their own tricks. You do a great job with your plants.

I've been going the same with my plants in the winter. However, recently I've been giving a bit more water. I'm getting a clue to growing them better. This and the other list have helped immensely.

I got 'Silver Blue' this summer from Indonesia. Would you classify your plant and 'Silver Blue' as the same?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:54AM
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woodnative(6)

I think bonsaigai is hinting at something I was hinting. Our 'Silver Blues' look much more......silver blue! But maybe it is a function of age? I need to get a photo of my Silver Blue and post it. Bonsaigai and others do you have photos too? I also have regular S. kirki kirki which has thick (but plain green) leave, 'Superclone', and one that Bob S was selling as 'Special Clone'....these all have thick upright leaves. My 'Silver Blue' is still flat but that may change with time(?)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Bonsaigai, you said, "I got 'Silver Blue' this summer from Indonesia. Would you classify your plant and 'Silver Blue' as the same?" How would I know that one way or another- even WITH a picture? :-)

The words silver and blue come from the waxy bloom that covers the leaves on several species of Sansevieria. Kirkii 'Superclone' has a great bloom, for instance. But the bloom will wear off with fingernail, and too much sun or rain that often comes, as Woodnative said, with age. This bloom is what causes people to refer to the color as "blue" because it masks the green leaves underneath.

The silver color on my plant that I posted in the beginning of this thread is the silver/blue that comes when the original bloom has all worn off.

I am posting here a picture of the same plant when it was 5 years younger and had an "honest" bloom. The parent plant had multiple leaves several of which were twisted off to provide starts for others.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:26PM
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woodnative(6)

A pic of some of my slightly beat-up kirkiis. At 12:00 a young 'Superclone', at 3:00 'Special Clone',at 6:00 my little 'Silver Blue', and at 9:00 a S. kirkii pulchra.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:04AM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Ya'll are going to make me break out my camera. Ill try to get a few pictures this evening. Been out for a few days. That summer allergic reaction turned into summer respiratory nastiness.

From the pictures posted, I think we all have the same 'Silver Blues'

Michael
NY Zone 6

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

I obtained a juvenile specim en several months ago at California Cactus Center in Rosemead. I had no idea it might assume a funnel shape at maturity.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

That's a very nice looking 'Silver Blue', Solarstorm! (At least I think its a silver blue as seen in Chahinians latest book.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:11AM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Let's see if I can get this picture up and running...

If these actually attach, the first is of 'SIlver Blue' the second is Sansevieria hansotii that I've had for about 12 years. It's in a six inch pot for perspective. Any ideas as to a real identity? I've been told hansotii is not an accepted name.

Michael
Interlaken, NY Zone 6

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:40AM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

So apparently, I can only get on picture at a time to get on... now for the 'Silver Blue'

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:41AM
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woodnative(6)

Hey Michael!! Your 'Silver Blue' look slike mine. I won't even guess on the other, LOL! Are the leaves real thick on it?
Solar storm likewise nice 'Silver Blue'. I really like the coloration on this plant...the "silver blue" along with the darker lines. Michaela- you may be the only one around here with a mature specimen!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

I'd say the bottom photo is definitely'Silver Blue' although I don't remember 'Silver Blue' even being recognized 12 years ago. The first time I saw the name was in Juan's book in 2005.
. As for the S hansotii >. It sure is a handsome plant. A Google search suggests that perhaps the name is Hansotia, a Pakistani district. Perhaps you have more info that could help us make some guesses about the species. It's probably too young to be sure, but could it be elliptica, horwood, or kirkii ?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:40PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

The tale of the two baby 'Silvers'...

My silver is actually growing very well. It already has two small offsets and another forming. (In the photo, to the left of center, on the soil line, there is a small round bit at about 9 o'clock. That's an offset.) I'm quite pleased. Maybe it will bulk up next year.

The hansotii-not is really quite old and the folks that have it say it's mature. Very thick being about 1/2", but the leaves are barely about 3" long, it's really chunky. Who knows... I emailed Ashish Hansoti via Hermine on the other list. Maybe something will come of it.

M.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:02PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Ok, here goes. My little hansotii is also being discussed on the other list. I just wanted to fill in folks here.

Ashish answered back and said he didn't remember. Others on the list suggested its correct name to be Sansevieria sp. Hansoti Farm, India, perhaps a new species, but maybe a hybrid.

Nothing really new, just sort of interesting. There are photos of others having this plant. It looks a bit more vigourous, but I keep trying and it's improving. Next year will be telling. I have high hopes.

M.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

This genus is replete with mysteries. I have a S Clone 2 I bought from Grigsby's several years ago. The current owner (Madeline) had no idea what species it was. It was just some left over stuff that Dave Gigsby brought back from one of his travels - probably back in the 1970s.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

A couple of days make a big difference if you compare the flower in this picture with the first one in this thread. Its getting interesting!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:04PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Reminds me of a Hyacinth. Hope it smell as nice.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:58PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Holy smokes! It's not really capitate! Fantastic. Do take measurements of the floral parts. As this is not really known to species, (right?) it could be valuable information to get it properly identified. Just wonderful. Thank you Mike.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

Yeah, holy smokes, Mike You should take and record measurements. For those of us who aren't familiar with the terms used to describe Inflorescences, there's a wonderful website on wayne's world.com. Lot's of drawings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Botany 115

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

Google mage search for Sansevieria capitate raceme brings up many very good photos.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

In the genus Sansevieria there are only 3 choices for flower stalk types. These are: raceme (ex. trifasciata); capitate (ex. hallii), and panicle ( ex. powellii). This flower is not a raceme, or a panicle.
Thanks, SolarStorm; I will take all the measurements I can think of, artificially pollinate, and hope for seed.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:33PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Hmm. Interesting. There are only three choices? While I've only seen pictures of capitate, it really looks more racemose. Hmm. Capitate raceme?

Well, regardless, it's beautiful.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

In the genus Sansevieria there are only 3 choices for flower stalk types. These are: raceme (ex. trifasciata); capitate (ex. hallii), and panicle ( ex. powellii). This flower is not a raceme, or a panicle.
Thanks, SolarStorm; I will take all the measurements I can think of, artificially pollinate, and hope for seed.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

In the genus Sansevieria there are only 3 choices for flower stalk types. These are: raceme (ex. trifasciata); capitate (ex. hallii), and panicle ( ex. powellii). This flower is not a raceme, or a panicle.
Thanks, SolarStorm; I will take all the measurements I can think of, artificially pollinate, and hope for seed.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 4:53PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

He he. I get the idea. (chuckling)

Don't you love it when your message gets posted twice because of the back button?

Speaking of pollination, are Sansevieria generally self-infertile or can you push the limits with a careful paint brush? I think I've heard both answers.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 8:01AM
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woodnative(6)

That flower is awesome!!! Michael, based on my very limited experience with Sans flowers it seems like at least some species are can be selfed. I had a S. concinna that flowered....I pollinated the flowers and it set seed. It was outside at the time. Another unknown, "S. patens" flowered inside last winter. Without doing anything on my part it surprisingly formed one pod with seemingly viable seed. I also had a S. cylindrica flower inside a couple winters back. I tried to self it but I did not get any seed. Try to get seed from that kirkii 'Silver Blue'. Any other Sans flowering? I bet it would make pretty hybrids too!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

Is it true that just because seeds are formed, it doesn't follow they are viable?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Solar, It's been my experience that if seeds are produced then they should be good. Can't say about sans, but most other plants. Some seed needs seasoned and some use fresh only. So who knows. Clivia is used fresh as well as most of the amaryllis family. They take almost a year on the plant to ripen.
Also the pollen seems to be ready before the pistil is able to accept it. So you have to take pollen from fresh opened flowers and put on old flowers, crossing from flower to flower. The way bees do it. Good luck and that's is where the fun is.
Stush

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

Thanks Stush. This the first good explanation I've heard that explains why some species aren't self fertile. It seems Mother nature likes to break all the rules we try to establish for her. . . just like a woman.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Solar, That is the way I get seeds from my clivia and amaryllis. It was also good on daylilies.
Stush

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 1:52PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

The first time I posted a picture of the flower here was on August 12. Today it has grown substantially, and the buds are elongating as it they have a ways to go yet! Here are two pictures taken today (8-31).

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

The longer buds are 3.75 inches long.....

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Solar_Storm(24 CA)

Pretty cool, Mike. Love the closeups, I assume with your new camera.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:23PM
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woodnative(6)

Looks like those buds are almost ready to "Pop"!! Keep us updated!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

I like closeups, too! Yes - my new camera, a Panasonic DMC zs15. I'm learning how to use it 'on the job' so to speak since companies now want you to print out your own manuals from a CD. This one is 140 pages and if you have an Apple computer like me, it has to have an Intel processor to read it - which my older Apple does not. Just now I learned that the "aperture priority" mode is variable (I should have known). So, I can set the camera on closeups and then vary the f-stop so depth of field can be optimized. Its a point-and-shoot camera if you don't want to fool with making adjustments. Sorry for the off-topic item here, but maybe taking pictures of our plants interests some readers.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:52PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

MIke, those pictures are STUNNING. The flower looks like it's ready to open right off the screen! WOW! The plant appears to be perfectly grown - very lovely.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:16AM
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cactusmcharris

Mike,

That's some plant and flower - the display is sublime. Any fragrance yet?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Michael- it seems I owe you and the readers a wee apology on my insistence that the inflorescence on 'Silver Blue' was capitate. As pictures will show, the shape of the flower head is club-shaped. I have recently seen the term, 'pseudocapitate' used for this type of inflorescence.

Cactusmcharris - Oh yes! Its a sweet smeller! Put nose against your monitor and see if you can smell it. Ha!
As usual for Sansevierias, it only releases its love signals at night time. The smell is similar, but not exactly like other Sansevieria flowers. I'm beginning to think all the species have similar, but unique, fragrances.

I'm going to follow this post with a few more pictures because it is rare to see this species in flower, and because capitate flowers are unusual to see in all their glory anyway. All these pictures were taken at night with an auto mechanics potable lamp for incandescent lighting.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:43PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

Totally beautiful! What a glorious bloom. Congratulations!!!!!!!

Thank you for taking the time to post these pictures. They really are exciting.

Michael
Interlaken, NY Z6

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:20AM
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cactusmcharris

Potable lamps are for light drinking, sez me.

Mike, I hope you continue with the flower displays - I'm hopeful it selfed itself and you get viable seed.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:08PM
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