Our Adventure With Victoria 2001
A Banner Year!
In 2001, we finally began to feel that we were taking control of our Victoria population instead of growing the plants "by guess and by golly". It was a banner year with a bumper crop of seeds, record-breaking pad sizes and flowers still blooming at Christmas. We grew 17 plants to blooming size over an extended season and produced more than 28,000 seeds from 241 flowers. It was a breakthrough learning year in a number of areas.
Nutrition: Though the "conventional wisdom" is that it is almost impossible to overfeed Victoria, we firmly believe we did so in 2000, "toxing" several plants with too much fertilizer. With the help of Andre Leu, Wayne Davis and others we began to investigate using different formulations and new biostimulants in our feeding program. We met with great success. This is detailed in "Roots".
The Species: Though the literature has always seemed to treat the culture of the two Victoria species as one in their culture, they are really quite different from each other. Nutritional needs differ, seed storage and cultivation temperatures differ and life spans differ. We do not believe that cruziana is the more cold tolerant of the two. Read "The Cruziana Clock" to learn why.
Line Breeding: In 2001 we began a program of line breeding to insure genetic diversity within the species in the future. In trying to trace the lines of cruziana grown in the US, we discovered that they are most likely all the same with no infusion of wild genes since 1904, making the collection of seeds from Paraguay (credit Joe Summers and Dr. Elsa Zardini of Missouri Botanical Garden) an even more stunning achievement. See "Seeds of the Century".
The Pollen Prof: As we had hoped (see "Can It Happen?"), pollen guru Dr. Jeff Osborn made an expedition to Paradise to collect Victoria pollen, both viable and in its developing stages. We sacrificed a whole series of 'Longwood Hybrid' buds to science as well as a young cruziana plant, allowing us to shoot some really interesting pix in the dissection process.
Web Site: Late in the year, we decided to share our bumper crop of seeds (as well as our enthusiasm for Victoria) directly with all who want to grow them. An integral part of that, we felt, was having extensive information about all aspects of Victoria easily available. After a crash course in web site development from Cyndie and Mike Thomas in October, we launched the Victoria section of this site in November. Since then it has spread and grown into all aspects of water gardening with contributors from around the world.
Seeds of the Century | Dissection of V. amazonica
1999 The Adventure Continues | 2000 A Very Bad Year | 2001 A Banner Year
2002 An Even Better Year | 2003 We Like It Like This | 2004 Trust
2005 Recovery | 2006 Normal? | 2007 Weird | 2008 Year of the Hare
2009 Year of the (White) Tortoise