March 18, 2006

Clivia Giant Yellow X

OMG! - When this monster bloomed this week, it made that trip to Japan (to hand-pick seed from Mr. Nakamura's collection) worth the pain of being squeezed in a middle seat (in coach, mind you), for 16 hours SO very worth it. As of today, this plant is by far the best in our collection. Most yellows available today are jsut average, hardley ever really as robust as the classic ornage C. miniata we all know and love. However, one can clearly see the difference when a gene pool that is twenty or thirty years deep is added from Japan. (Mr. Nakamura inherited his collection from another prestigious plant breeder).

Also, be careful this spring while atending sping flower shows, don't get caught-up in Yellow Clivia frenzy. There are many week crosses out there, and I wouldn't spend mroe than $20.00 for an un pedigree yellow Clivia. For instance, a typical yellow Clivia miniata which purchased from a reputable high-end mail-order nursery years ago for a let's say a week's worth of salary (come on, we've all done that!), has a blossom which is 1/4 the size of this, and one can't even compare the quality and the form. This yellow is Supreme. (Hey, maybe I'll call it Custard Supreme?) It's so delicately fragrant, not strong, but it's sweetness does travel. One could smell it while doing dishes, from it's pearch in our plant window above the kitchen sink.

But imagine this specimen, four-inch custard-colored blossoms, that are flat and wide, and sweetly fragrant to boot. I'm so impressed. Next year, when it blooms with a bigger flower-head, it will give us a better impression but this first flowering from such a promising seedling still knocks me over. A couple of the blossoms dangle also, which adds a curious lily-like aesthetic to the plant. On this cold March Saturday, this display is so powerful that it could potentially attract a few South African sunbirds to drink it's nectar. I need to think of a name for this cross, which we will keep just for ourselves, until a decent naming convention can be agreed upon by the Clivia Societies.

1 comment :

  1. Lionel Bester Hilton Clivias3:10 AM

    That is gorgeous !!!
    Lionel Bester. ( Hilton Clivias .South Africa. )


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