March 14, 2006

Clivia Season Begins

Clivia Daydream

If your idea of a Clivia is the bright orange Clivia miniata, then bookmark this blog, since the first of a collection of a thousand or so seedlings from my trip to Japan five years ago are starting to bloom this month, and expectaions are high.

In 2001,we were invited to visit some gardening friends in Japan, and had the fortunate honor of being a guest of Mr. Yoshikazu Nakamura, perhaps undeniably, the worlds premier Clivia breeder. It was there that I was able to acquire a large selection of his crosses via seed. After a day at his strangely secret Clivia Breeding Plantation, nestled at the end of a muddy road deep in a bamboo forest in Chiba prefecture, I left with not only a few pounds of seed, but many presumably choice Clivia seedlings which he so generously shared as gifts.

So this March they are all blooming for the first time. So far the highlight has been this incredible Clivia, Clivia[Cyrtanthiflora Group]'Daydream' x 'green throat'. This delightfully tinted cross is one of five seedling Clivia that are decendents from Mr. Yoshikazu Nakamura's famous "Daydream", a celebrated breakthrough peach colored Interspecific cross between two Clivia species,( C. miniata and C. gardenii). In an effort to simplify nomenclature, these crosses are more properly known as the Cyrtanthiflora Group, (because thier blossoms are more trumpet shaped, and dangle from the inflorescence like thier South African cousins, the genus Cyrtanthus.

Although Clivia are easy from seed, the pods need to ripen for nearly a year on the plant, then they are slow growers producing two leaves a year and reach blooming size after five or six years. They do not come true to seed, so be wary of expensive seed that is named. These have a reduced chance of coming true to type. Such seed should properly be labed as the cross such as "vico yello x vico gold".

I encourage all to try Clivia. They are long-lived, sturdy plants that can handle neglect and bloom annually. I will write later on Clivia culture and share hints on how to get them to bloom, since this is the question I am most asked. Stay tuned for more March Clivia, as the collection is well budded, and new surprises await every morning as I check the greenhouse.

1 comment :

  1. I germinate hundreds of seeds every year and have many clivia plants in my garden. My budget doesn't stretch to anything fancy, but I love all my plants anyway. I do have a few yellow clivias and have harvested a few seeds. I am hoping for success with them. Your clivia from Japan is magnificent.


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