For our gardeners, Belamkanda is interesting for unusual inflorescences and foliage. This exotic plant resembles a hybrid of iris with a lily. Like other inhabitants of the East, it is ideal for long contemplation and relaxation, besides decorative it is famous for its healing properties.
The homeland of the plant is the Far East, especially China and Vietnam. They grow this culture in many countries, but in the wild it refers to endangered species and is listed in the Red Book.
The root system of this perennial is branched, but superficial. The plant of the Iris family is classified as medium-tall. Elongated hard leaves are absolutely identical to iris and reach a height of 40-60 cm with a width of 25-40 mm. Leaf plates with longitudinal filamentary veins have a bright or dark green color. At the base of one plant is 5-8 leaves.
Peduncles along with inflorescences rise to a level of 60-100 cm, although single specimens can reach 1.5 m. The top of the peduncle is decorated with many buds (from 12 to 20 pieces). They bloom gradually, while up to 3 flowers are open. Buds are also interesting until they are fully opened, as they have a twisted shape and resemble a snail or a cocoon of a butterfly.
A flower with a diameter of 4-7 cm has six wide open oval petals. The outer edge of the petal is rounded, along the central part there is a pronounced relief vein. The color of the flowers ranges from faded yellow and orange to pink and purple. The surface of the petals, like freckles, is covered with burgundy or brown dots.
The flowering period begins in the last decade of May and lasts about a month. In colder climates, the schedule may shift by 1-1.5 months. Each belamkanda flower has a very short life span, blooming in the morning, it fades by sunset. This makes it possible in one day to observe an accelerated natural cycle from the unfolding of the petals to their wilting.
The core has three stamens and one trihedral ovary. After flowering is complete, an elongated box is formed with thin membranes that open easily themselves. The belamkanda fruit is similar to a blackberry and consists of several separate black peas. The seeds are covered with a fleshy membrane and are 4-6 mm in diameter. Do not give in to the temptation to taste the berries, the seeds are inedible.
Chinese belamanda and its hybrids
Although there are other varieties in the genus, only one of them is cultivated - Chinese Belamanda. Other names are common among gardeners:
- tiger lily;
- Chinese lily
- Chinese orchid
- home iris.
All these names are synonyms and characterize the same plant. To diversify the color scheme of the petals of this exquisite plant, botanists have developed several hybrid varieties:
- flava - different bright yellow large flowers, devoid of the usual freckles;Belamkanda flava
- purpurea - the petals of this variety range from pale pink with yellow veins, to purple and purple;Belamkanda purpurea
- flabellata gray (fan) - the leaf rosette at the bush has a fan shape, the flowers are plain, yellow, small.Belamkanda flabellata gray (fan)
Sometimes gardeners, seeing faded Belamkanda flowers in the first year, are disappointed in it and refuse to continue growing. And absolutely in vain. Every year the plant grows stronger, and the color of the petals becomes more saturated. Most young plants are covered with yellowish, sandy flowers, the pink tint in them is barely distinguishable. In the future, the petals will turn purple and purple.
Propagated by Belamkanda seeds and division of an overgrown bush. Although seeds are capable of independently separating from a peduncle in autumn, self-seeding in spring is extremely rare and only in a subtropical climate. Therefore, each fruit should be carefully collected and stored until spring. Seeds retain good germination for 1-2 years and in the spring they will please friendly shoots. Before sowing, they should be soaked for a day in a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
In order for the plant to take root and produce flowers in the first year, it is necessary to grow seedlings in early March. In open ground, seeds can only be sown in May, which will significantly delay flowering or not at all.
Landing is done in light fertile soil, you can use a sand-peat mixture. To stimulate growth, seeds must be stratified after planting. The box is covered with foil and placed in the refrigerator. If the outdoor temperature is between 0 ... + 5 ° C, you can take the container directly into the snowdrift. In the cold, crops are left for 7-12 days. Fresh seeds already have time to hatch during this time, but older ones may need up to 2 months.
A pot of young plants is transferred to a lighted window sill in a warm room. With the appearance of 2-4 real leaves, you need to carefully transplant the seedlings into separate pots without damaging the roots. They land on the street when the danger of night frosts is completely over.
In autumn or early spring, overgrown belamkanda bushes can be divided into several young ones. To do this, use plants aged 4-5 years. Carefully dig out the rhizome completely and take it apart with your fingers into several shoots. Several stems should be kept in each new bush, this will increase the likelihood of success. Coarse sand or brick chips are placed in a hole for a new plant for good drainage. Fertilize the plant with humus. After planting, the top layer is carefully tamped and watered.
Cultivation and care
Belamkanda prefers open sunny places or weak partial shade. Well-drained light soil is suitable for planting. The plant needs regular fertilizer, which is provided by mulching the soil with humus. Additionally, the bushes are fertilized with complex mineral supplements twice a month during the growing season and weekly during the flowering period.
The plant is resistant to drought, it is better to slightly dry the soil than to flood the terrain. With an excess of moisture, the roots rot, so in the winter season, even in a warm climate, it is necessary to cover the plant with waterproof material.
Belamkanda is not very resistant to frost, even with short-term freezing at -15 ° C it dies, so they grow it outdoors under shelter in the southern regions. North grows as an annual. You can dig a bush in the fall and transplant it into a storage pot in a warm room, and return it to the garden in spring.
The plant is not affected by known diseases and pests, but with excessive dampness, the roots and stems decay.
Belamkanda is suitable for growing on balconies or as an indoor flower. In this case, for the winter, the plant is provided with a dormant phase when it discards foliage. The pot is transferred to a cool place, fertilizers are not applied, watering is reduced to a minimum.
Belamkanda is a very elegant and delicate plant that can get lost in a bright or dense flower garden. It is preferable to plant it in groups on rocky hills or in rock gardens, and also use it as bright spots on the lawn. Feels good on sunny slopes or in the neighborhood with stunted conifers. Looks spectacularly in pots on the veranda, in the conservatory or on the balcony.
Sprigs with fruits and dried translucent petals of the seed box are used to decorate dry bouquets.