Cardiocrinum propagation via Chitting & Flakes
Many genus of bulb may be propagated by chitting and most of the Lily family propagate easily from flakes but I've not been able to find any references as to whether Cardiocrinum can be propagated by either of these methods.
It may be that, in the past, propagation from seed and vegatative progation via complete offsets, coupled with the limited market for Cardiocrinum, haven't encouraged experiments with these methods.
However, with the appearance of what seems to be a colour-sport of C. giganteum yunnanense, the matter is of more interest and I've experimented as described below.
10/3/10 A small bulb, (30mm x 50mm), of C. giganteum was split into as many flakes as possible. 4 of these retained part of the basal plate; the majority, (8), didn't. They were washed in a fungicide solution, (Systhane), and planted in two separate groups with the point of the flake at the surface.
21/3/10 One of the flakes with a part of the basal plate is developing a leaf.
8/4/10 The flake with a leaf was potted up. Two other flakes from the set with part of the basal plate had rotted. There is no sign of growth on any of the 8 flakes without a section of basal plate.
9/4/10 When the original C. giganteum bulbs were cut and split, we'd just harvested the previous year's C. cordatum and two small flakes had fallen off which were also planted. These are each developing leaves.
June 2010 All the giganteum flakes had rotted and it seems doubful that C. giganteum can be propagated from flakes 'though C. giganteum yunannense may be tried in 2011.
June 2010 One of the two flakes of Cardiocrinum cordatum which developed leaves survived the lack of water and the other may not be dead. The process may be tried with a whole bulb in 2011.
March 2011 One of the two flakes of Cardiocrinum cordatum which developed leaves in 2010 has survived the winter and is growing new leaves.
It seems probable that C. cordatum can be grown from flakes but some more will be tried to confirm this result.
The plant from the C. cordatum flake is flourishing and will be planted out.
201010/3/10 A small bulb, (25mm x 40mm), of C. giganteum was cut into 4 parts, dusted with flowers of Sulphur and placed in a plastic bag with a 50:50 mixture of Vermiculite and compost.
21/3/10 Two parts of the bulb are developing leaves. It is likely that the behaviour of the flakes with basal plate will be very similar to that of the chitted sections.8/4/10 The parts of the bulb with leaves were potted up. The other two parts still look viable and were re-dusted with Sulphur and replaced in the bag.
June 2010 Due to lack of watering over holidays, the chits with leaf dried off but may not be dead. The process will be tried with C. giganteum yunannense in 2011.
March 2011 Two small bulbs, one of Cardiocrinum giganteum and one of C. giganteum yunnanense, were cut into 4 sections through the basal plate. The cut surfaces were dusted with Flowers of Sulphur and the sectioned bulbs planted in compost with the nose just above the surface. None of these survived.
Whilst separating offsets from the remains of C. cathayanum, 13p0, one was cut into two equal pieces which were immediately potted without any form of fungal protection. Both died!