With wider distribution among growers for testing, it is hoped
that the Normanton lilies, recently named N.
carpentariae, will produce plants that are less difficult.
Such is the case with the changeable N.
georginae and N.
macrosperma as well.
For me, Australians begin to develop from tuber in mid-summer,
reach flowering size in fall, and go right through the winter.
They quit in the spring. If memory serves me correctly, expert
Andre Leu has related that they can do the same in the wild.
For summer display I rely on friends with greenhouses, like Rich
Sacher, for earlier starts. In the past, I have had little luck
starting plants from seed but plan to keep trying.
Getting Aussies going is very difficult. Sneeze near an Anecphya
seedling or a small plant from tuber and it will go dormant.
They don't like change of any kind, such as transplanting or
weather changes. For many growers, seeds and tubers won't start
at all. If they do, they can remain in the rosette stage or with
a few small floating leaves for years. What exactly triggers
them to start or grow to adulthood is something of a mystery.
Even with what would appear to be ideal conditions, they remain
A group of aficionados is currently collecting data on conditions
in the wild, seed storage and germination techniques because
we would all love to see the Australians more widely cultivated.
That will only become possible when a stable form is found and
a general cultivation protocol is established.
The answer to that may not be in the Australian species themselves
but in crosses with the African subgenus Brachyceras. The cultivar
'William Phillips' (N. gigantea [Anecphya]
x N. colorata white form [Brachyceras]) was confirmed
as a true cross by DNA analysis. The cultivar has not made its
way to testing in environments other than that of the hybridizer.