|Mauka seedling, Spring 2015|
|Mauka root close-up, with wireworm damage|
But then there they sat, during January, February, and March, with no signs at all of flower buds appearing. Frustrating. I dutifully ferried them between the balcony and the living room, gave them all the love and attention I had to give (well kind of, anyway... the Roja plant eventually died somewhere towards spring, I'm not sure why...) but apparently it just wasn't enough for Pachamama and colleagues. The mauka flowering code remains uncracked, for me at least. I've now planted the Blanco in the garden together with its siblings. I might give it another shot next year, or else I'll try to lure a helpful greenhouse owner into adopting a mauka plant or two for the winter. Any volunteers?
|Mauka Roja, 2nd year growth|
There's plenty of roads still to be travelled for mauka and me in 2016 and beyond. Apart from seducing it to bloom sooner or later, I would also like to get my hands on the CIP208001 variety, which looks a lot like the Roja but should have much better yields. And then of course, it would be exciting to try and find some additional varieties. After all, who knows what unexplored gems are still hiding somewhere in mauka's Andean homelands...