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    Thread: Calla Lilly 'Hercules'

    1. #1
      CraigP's Avatar
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      Calla Lilly 'Hercules'

      This past spring I saw a picture of Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Hercules' and while the white spotted leaves and large white bloom, made it attractive it was the description of it growing to 7' ( counting the inflorescence ) that really piqued my curiosity and I was a able to track down some seed. The seedlings grew with leaves of variable spotting...including some solid green....but this one is the champ. It is about five months since sprouting and the plant is already pushing 3 feet. With fall at hand I don't expect to get maximum growth until next year, but I can say 'Hercules" is a vigorous, well-named Calla. < g >
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      Craig

    2. #2
      gray cat's Avatar
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      Beautiful leaves. Will it overwinter outside for you?
      Nancy



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    3. #3
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      We are in 9b, so they would winter outside here....I think the given range for Calla is z8...but I do have a shadehouse I cover with fall poly and heat with a propane heater to hold 50-60 deg at night. That is where I keep my personal collection, so there is a chance, depending on the severity of the winter, I can keep Hercules from going dormant. I keep some tropical Impatiens that form a large basal caudex and can survive the FL summer heat in the shadehouse. I also grow a few species of tropical blueberry relatives in the shadehouse that have begun a bloom.

      I know Impatiens are popular ...I'll have to get pictures of some of my tropical models. < g >
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      Craig

    4. #4
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      Your tropical Impatiens are beautiful. I live in zone 7b and my Calla Lilies only came back two years. I think something underground ate them through the winter.
      Nancy



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    6. #6
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      We have had a mild winter to date, no frost, and the Calla lilies did grow all winter and have been blooming for me. In the past, Calla lilies never particularly 'wowed' me, but these are big, beefy, robust plants and I think them gorgeous. < g > As seems to always happen, the green 'normal' plants are more vigorous than the spotted ( variegated ) ones, but that is fine by me. I have tried pollinating the blooms and if I get seed, I'll post here and will be glad to share.
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      Craig

    7. #7
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      very pretty
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    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by CraigP View Post
      We have had a mild winter to date, no frost, and the Calla lilies did grow all winter and have been blooming for me. In the past, Calla lilies never particularly 'wowed' me, but these are big, beefy, robust plants and I think them gorgeous. < g > As seems to always happen, the green 'normal' plants are more vigorous than the spotted ( variegated ) ones, but that is fine by me. I have tried pollinating the blooms and if I get seed, I'll post here and will be glad to share.
      I've grown these, although your the horticultural expert, it doesn't seem that the "hercules" is anything other than a nickname. They love wet feet and shade. I was growing them directly in the water with nothing but large rocks holding them in place until; they got top-heavy and fell over... at which point I divided them and traded some. Here'
      s an old photo Where I laid out a tape measure on them. I've definitely grown them to 6' no problem in water and in the ground. with normal water and somewhat dryer soil they tend to stay closer to 3'-4'.
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      Last edited by danzcool; 03-10-2019 at 04:24 AM.
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      Some nice growth.. Craig



    10. #10
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      WoW! They are beautiful and huge. I have the ordinary green one inside that is about 18 inches or so. I may divide it and try some in my pond. I love the spotted one!
      Nancy



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    11. #11
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      I'm thinking I may dig up a bunch and plant it at one of the outlets for when I flush the koi's settlement chamber weekly and see If I can hit a gargantuan height this year.
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    12. #12
      CraigP's Avatar
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      From what I understand the name 'Hercules' was given to the selection by Western Hills Rare Plant Nursery in northern California, the nursery that introduced it to the trade; and that for some reason....it reaches its greatest size in the Pacific NW. Plants Delight in NC has grown it to four feet foliage and 5.5 foot bloom, so being in FL....I am hoping for a size similar to Plants Delight. I'm growing them in ten gallon pots with a peat/perlite/ pine bark bagged mix. What gets me is just how robust the plants are!

      I did attempt to get the blooms to set seed, but the first attempts failed. At the outset, I had only single blooms and it seems the plants are self-sterile and the ovaries were past being receptive before the pollen was released. I did finally have multiple blooms and used the pollen from one plant to fertilize another's first day bloom and it appears to have taken! I grew my plants from seed and of the seven that sprouted, five are spotted and two were reverts to the green form. If anyone is interested in growing this impressive Calla from seed, PM me and when ( and if ) the seed ripens I'll be glad to share. While they are easy to sprout and grow, the seedlings will not all be spotted but, even the green form strikes me as a worthwhile addition to anyones collection.
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      Craig

    13. #13
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      So what would be the process to attempt to hybridize these, would you cut off petal and rub the pollen portion of one type against the lower portion of the other or does the pollen fall off freely, as in I could cut some flowers, shake them and dust another flower still on the plant?

      Whatever I have I procured from now long gone McAllister Water Gardens, who sold it with the common name "Giant Water Calla" with just the species Zantedeschia aethiopica on the tag with no further variety designated.

      I agree, the spotted leaves look quite nice on their own even when not blooming.
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    14. #14
      CraigP's Avatar
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      I think you can see in this photo that the pollen does fall, but the female flowers are at the base of the spadix, so having it fall onto the stigma by dusting with a cut flower could be iffy. I use a paint brush....and I mean a cheap watercolor brushes.... and after cutting the spath sufficiently to allow easy access, I "paint" the pollen onto the flowers. Once the spath opens, the female flowers should be pollen receptive but I'm not sure how many days that phase lasts. Again, I think you can see that in this instance, the female flowers are spent when the pollen has dehisced, and it looks to me as it possible I have a second plant setting seed. < g >
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      Craig

    15. #15
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      Thanks for the explanation Craig. I may try this when I have something in another color with the same shape of leaf blooming, these white ones tend to have a fairly long bloom season for me with all of them I have around the yard.
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