This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, spear-flower; the flowering stem 8 to 25 feet high, crowned by a spike of flowers 3 feet high). Amaryllidaceae. Great desert plants from Australia, with 100 or more leaves 6 feet long when full grown, being impressive for large conservatories, or for open ground in the South, where they will stand slight frost.
The representative in Austral, of the American Furcraea and Agave: leaves in a dense basal rosette, those on the stem much reduced: flowers large, bright red (often replaced by bulblets), in a large thyrse-like or panicled infloresence; perianth with little or no tube, the segments long and falcate; stamens 6, attached at base of perianth, the filaments filiform: fruit a turbinate caps., 3-valved. - Three or 4 species. Little known under glass, as they require too much room. A plant of D. Palmeri remained at Kew 16 years before flowering. Plants of doryanthes are prop, by suckers, which are produced only after flowering. The process is very slow. The young plants must be repotted for several years until they have attained a large size. They are said to do best in a compost of loam and leaf-mold in equal parts.
Correa. Spear-Lily. Leaves' sword-shaped, not ribbed, smooth, entire, with a very narrow cartilaginous margin, lower ones recurved, others erect: scape clothed with lanceolate leaves, which sheath the stem at their base; flowers in a globular head, deep crimson or maroon inside and out (there is a white-flowered form). B.M. 1685. R.H. 1865, pp. 466, 471; 1891, p. 548. G.C. II. 11:339. Gn.W. 16:681. G.W. 9, p. 521. H.F. II. 7:136.
Palmeri, W. Hill. Even more gigantic than D.
excelsa: leaves longer and broader, slightly ribbed and a longer brown point: flowers in a thyreoid panicle, bright scarlet outside, whitish within. B.M. 6665. F.S.
20:2097. R.H. 1891:548. G.C. II. 17:409. G.W. 12, p. 222. New shoots are said to be produced at the base, which bloom in one or more years.
D. Guilfoylei, F. M. Bailey, Queensland-Lilt, is a large and fine species from N. Queensland, perhaps a form of D. Palmeri:
Wilhelm Miller. L. H. B.†