This section of the web site reviews each year of our adventure, with details not found in other sections of the site -- things like plant and flower numbers, successes and failures, big and small things we've learned. It also discusses things we want to do, things we want to know, things we speculate about. It is sequential, often with questions raised one year answered the next. We don't go back and rewrite.

Before and after a June thunderstorm

 Our Adventure With Victoria 2009
Year of the (White) Tortoise
by Kit & Ben Knotts - Click images to enlarge

It was a pleasantly uneventful year in our Adventure with Victoria. No hurricanes, not even a tropical storm. A few wind/rain events bent an occasional pad, especially on amazonicas, but didn’t affect blooming or seeding.

We were able to get a jump-start on the season by installing four plants in Reflection in early April. Of the 11 plants eventually installed, eight were holdovers, stalled for more than a year in small pots in Sun. See 2008 Still Stalled for details. All grew to normal size with normal flower and seed production. Except –

Two siblings, crosses of two wild cruzianas made in 2006, were weird. Both plants, even with many buds cut off early in their bloom cycle, often had only three sepals, were usually stuck shut, and had nectar, a sure sign they wouldn’t set seed. A few flowers on the larger plant were normal and set seed, but we haven’t distributed them and won’t use them in our own breeding program. We don’t think these aberrations had anything to do with stalling as other stalled cruzianas grew out normally.

Another pair of siblings was very interesting and the reason for calling 2009 the Year of the White Tortoise. (Slow-growing amazonica is always trying to catch up with hare cruziana.)  

Skipping several generations, offspring of the first “White the Second Night” amazonica were also white! See Our Adventure 2006 The White One. Second night flowers are extremely dramatic and beautiful but – if our goal is to perpetuate typical amazonicas – is growing them a good thing? This is explored in the cover story of WGI Online 4.4.

We will not grow them on purpose, for the sake of the worldwide seed bank and some fear of corrupting the gene pool with atypical examples. RBG Kew’s Carlos Magdalena will isolate the whites and try to develop a consistently white line. He has seedlings of the white selfed and white x white growing as we write this.


Speaking of Carlos, a highlight of late summer was his first trip to the US. We were included in his Florida swing and took the opportunity to invite “core” Victoria growers to join us. This included Dave and Davia Brigante from Oregon, Craig and Darcy Presnell, Florida, and Rich Sacher, Louisiana. Carlos very much enjoyed surfing on a Victoria pad. Carlos Visits

Davia, Craig, Carlos, Dave, Darcy, Rich

Carlos surfing on an Adventure pad

We looked out at Reflection one day in late spring and saw the strangest thing swimming in it! It looked like a big snake but the even bigger submerged body told us it was an Anhinga. How did it find its way here? It left as soon as its wings were dry enough.

< Stalled plants can bloom and still be planted out, attaining normal size.

'Longwood Hybrid'
thrives (for a change)
in the Victoria Pool >


Year of the (White) Tortoise
The White Ones in WGI Online 4.4
Carlos Magdalena Visits Florida

 1998 The Adventure Begins | 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 | 2004 The Hurricanes | 2005 Recovery
2006 Normal? | 2007 Weird | 2008 Year of the Hare
2009 Year of the (White) Tortoise

 Our Adventure Overview
Index to all years

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