One of my projects was my acquisition of seed from a rare and endangered plant. Dubbed as the "blue amaryllis", Worseleya procera (often and formerly referred to as W. rayneri) captivated me. After seeing these photos on a website, I learned what I could about these magnificent plants and when an opportunity to obtain seed from New Zealand presented itself. I jumped at the chance to grow this beauty.
Almost salivating and heart-stopping, isn't it??
I asked if I could use the greenhouse to sow the 6 seeds I acquired and tried various treatments and growing media based on the literature that was available at the time. Germination turned out to be a piece of cake:
Growing the plants on, however, was the challenge as reports always stressed specific cultural requirements and high losses following germination. The key to preserving any rare and endangered species is to attempt to recreate it's natural habitat. The "Empress of Brazil", as this bulb is often known, is found growing on full exposed, steep, rocky granite slopes of the Organ Mountains on the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil.
We carefully babied the young seedlings and potted them up gradually.
Since I graduated, I feel kind of bad leaving these guys behind for the greenhouse staff to take care of, but the ideal conditions and occasional attention have resulted in plants I simply couldn't believe.
This plant could be on the verge of blooming. Boy, will I go ballistic when they do!!!!