Just picking up from the previous update: the Hippeastrum has bloomed. I got two flowers, both of them solid red, though they looked very orange-red right up until opening (and still look a little orange in some lighting). I don't know that this is going to turn me into a Hippeastrum devotee or anything, but they're self-fertile, and you know how I get with seeds,1 so this will probably not be my last amaryllis.2 This one was started in March 2010, so that means basically four years from seed to bloom. I have no idea if that's typical for Hippeastrums.
I don't know whether the white streaking on the back of some of the sepals here is normal for Hippeastrum, or an indication that there's some 'Apple Blossom' ancestry in there after all, or something else, but it seemed worth mentioning.
Less happily, about ten hours after "An Uncharacteristically Upbeat Post" published, I found the Euphorbia fungus on a plant that I thought had been cured, and then discovered it on at least three more plants that week. You'd think I would have learned by now never to think (much less to say) that any of my problems has ever been resolved.
Though shutting up about my problems doesn't seem to work that well either: the itching is still happening, albeit not as often. I've been using petroleum jelly after showering for about six weeks now, and although I'm not itching as often, I'm still itching. It's just that now I have maybe two bad days per week, instead of three. The itching is a little less life-consuming when it does happen, as well: shorter duration, responds better to benadryl. So there's been improvement on that, but less than I'd like. The next step in the process would be a referral to a dermatologist; so far I've declined to do that because 1) it's gotten somewhat better, and 2) my expectation is that seeing a dermatologist is a lot less likely to result in a cure for the problem than it is to result in more visits to a dermatologist. Nothing against dermatologists: I'm sure many of them are very nice people who are highly competent doctors. I just don't think this problem is a dermatologist kind of problem.3 If it gets worse, I'll reconsider.
Finally, just an update on the Cyperus alternifolius (original post from last July here), so I don't have to end the post on such a down note:
The third cutting did eventually sprout; it just took a really long time. It caught up to the size of the other two pretty quickly after I potted it up, which was surprising. I've since put all three together in a single pot (mostly for space-conservation reasons; I'm pretty certain the plants would have been fine where they were), and the resulting plant looks like this now:
So far, I'm pleased to make its acquaintance. It's been a while since I met a new plant that I got along with this well, actually.
2 "Amaryllis" is the common name for Hippeastrum even though there's a genus called Amaryllis. Much like the way "pothos" is Epipremnum and not Pothos, "nephthytis" is Syngonium and not Nephthytis, or "coleus" is
3 So what kind of problem is it, then, if not a dermatologist problem? I don't know. Maybe it's a ghosts-of-dead-spider-mites problem.