|Cape Hyacinth's are rare enough, but the teal colored Lachenalia aloides var. vanzyliae is perhaps the most choice form, for collectors.|
Lachenalia aloides are by far the most popular of the genus Lachenalia, the easy to grow winter blooming South African bulb related to the Hyacinth, and found in some specialy bulb catalogs in the fall. I have a few varieties of Lachenalia aloides in bloom right now (see blog from last weekend). The most beutiful is L. aloides quadricolor, with four colors in its blossom, and then there are two all yellow varieties in blooom now, L. aloides var. aurea, and L. aloides 'Nelsonii'.
The one I am showing you now, is a much rarer variety, and one which I have been trying to find for a long time. L. aloides var. vanzyliae is not common at all, yet it was introduced to Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in 1927. It is the most unusually colored form, with conspicuous white bracts and pendulous flowers with green segmenets, that fade into pale blue at the base. It is a highly desirable variety which I have never seen available anywhere. It seems to like full sun, and since it is one of the last Lachenalia to bloom, I find it interesting the the Lachenalia season begins with a green species, in December (L. viridiflora) and closes with this green variety of L. aloides.
The foliage is beautiful too, with dark maroon spots, and bluish green leaves. I should note that I still ahve one more species to bloom, which I saw well budded in the greenhouse sand bed, and that is a pot of L. matthewsii, which we're started from seed four years ago.