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Alcantarea season

Posted by fdnpedro NSW north coast (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 19, 09 at 16:47


Hi all

It's Alcantarea flowering time in Australia. Lots of interesting species/forms coming into bloom, many for the first time in Australia. So many colours and shapes! No wonder they are such popular landscape plants.

Visconde de Maua
Al sp Visconde de Maua

Al imperialis Arno

odorata Silver
Al odorata Silver (Bak)

odorata Burle-Marx
Al odorata (Burle-Marx form)

I'm not sure if many real Al nahoumiis have flowered in Australia before - 2 forms are pictured here - a large form from seed ex Chester and a small form ex Brazil. Stunning colour but waiting for first flowers, as with most of the 20 or so species/forms coming into bloom at my place and Greenstock. The recent 2 floods haven't affected them at my place though(900mm/3ft in 2 weeks recently, over 3m for the year!).

Here's a pic of Bruce with some nahoumii 'babies'.

Al nahoumiis (with Bruce)

nahoumii small form
Al nahoumii (small)

The species is one of the more northern growers, occurring way north of Rio in Bahia State, though Pedro Nahoum himself has collected forms down to the Vitoria area in Espiritos Santos. The foliage is usually yellow/green so nothing much but the inflorescence is dazzling.

Beware of immitations which abound here. It appears that a commercial establishment in Aus has sold an extensa-looking plant as nahoumii.

Over the next few years dozens of new species, hybrids and forms will become available so the variety will continue!

Al distractila??

By-the-way, some of the the Alcantarea variegates are about to auctioned on Ebay!

Al variegates 1

These are 2 of the auction plants.

cf. extensa Bobby Powell
Al cf extensa Bobby Powell 1

glaziouana Moray
Al glaziouana Moray 1

Cheers, Pedro

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Alcantarea season

G'day Pedro.

Great to see so many forms of Alc out in flower! I like them all, but there's something special about the variegated ones...

Do the variegates perform OK outside? Or are they best grown under the protection of shade cloth?

Cheers, Andrew.

RE: Alcantarea season

Hi Andrew

I have them under 50% white (nominal 30%) but Bruce has some in full sun without any issues. Extensa and glaziouana types are hardy as hell so they won't mind. I don't know about the variegated imperialis as I'm yet to get any but I expect the same. Oscar in Brazil grows his in full sun. No doubt a 40+ day would cause yellowing as with them all though. Shade cloth also protects against hail but never use more than 50% for best colour, growth and shape. Lots of food too.

Could be 40 tomorrow - hot enough today.

Cheers, Pedro

RE: Alcantarea season

What a great show! It's nice to see all of these kinds of Alcs. Great motivation to try and find others than imperialis (although I also love all of the different forms of imperialis too). With so many in close proximity blooming all at the same time do you take any precautions trying to ensure either a clean self-set seed or a specific cross? I imagine there is pollen going everywhere and birds and insects happy to spread some more all around.

All I have to say is that I'm glad that I can't get into any bidding wars for those variegates! Were they all chance seedlings?

RE: Alcantarea season

Hi Pedro,

All I can say is WOW!

What a magnificent collection of these wonderful plants, and the variegated ones are truly amazing. It's a terrible shame I only have a small garden, otherwise Alcantareas would certainly be finding a new place to live.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful plants with us.

All the best, Nev.

RE: Alcantarea season

Thanks for the feast of eye candy Peter. Pardon by ignorance but I know of odorata silver, but is the other green odorata a cross with burle-marxii.FCBS lists them as two separate species.

RE: Alcantarea season

Hi there, the plants were grown from seed from Sitio B-M and the blue/green ones in bloom are typical, though flowering a bit smaller than some have. A few seedlings were actually crisp green and a bit more compact, so possibly hybrids (with burle-marxii was a thought??) but yet to flower. Many forms of this species 200km+ NW of Rio on the granite bluffs. Like most other species there seems to be graduatuations of species from inselberg to inselberg, east to west, low down to high up. So many thousands of uncultivated species and intergrades. The descriptions so far have been mostly very arbitrary and isolated not taking into account the incredible variations in populations.

Cheers, Pedro

Sitio Burle-Marx narrow leafed form

Near Muriae - nice silver/blue form that's quite banded an cultivation

RE: Alcantarea season

Hi Pedro,

It is just great to see plants like that. Thanks so much for showing them. It really is interesting to see all those different types and those habitat shots say so much about the plants. Just brilliant. I could pore over this stuff for hours. And those variegated plants! I must behave, I must behave, I must behave .....

Cheers, Paul

RE: Alcantarea season

Hi Pedro and All,

WOW WOW !!!!!! Very nice shots of Alcantareas. Bobby Powell and Moray are stunning. Hope I can get them someday. Thank for sharing.

RE: Alcantarea season

Hi all,

Evidently there's some debate about where the plants are. The group pics, nahoumiis and big variegates are at Bruce's nth of Brisbane (mine aren't blooming yet or are behind his - warmer winter makes a difference! Maybe he's just a better grower!). Odoratas, VDM and Ebay plants are at my place, just sth of Coffs.

Cheers, Pedro

RE: Alcantarea season

  • Posted by hanwc Malaysia (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 22, 09 at 19:53

Wow, wow! Great alcantarea. Just can't keep my eyes off the variegated one. A bit of surprise when I notice them in auction recently.

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