May 16, 2010

Rhodohypoxis baurii

The South African summer growing plant that grows easily and spreads if happy. I first tried this cunning little plant ( which is dormant for the entire winter), about twelve years ago after reading about them in the old Heronswood Nursery catalog. Dan Hinkley wrote about how easy this plant was to bloom, and how pretty it looked when grown in low bulb pans, or in bonsai pots.

Easy, as long as you can keep them from freezing in the winter, here in the north, I keep my many pots of Rhodohypoxis dry during their winter dormancy, under a bench in the greenhouse where they don't get a spot of water. They grow from a tuberous rhyzome, or bulbous, rooty-type thing, and one bulb will quickly fill a pan. About 6 years ago, I ordered a selection from a British grower on eBay, so I have about a dozen clones, in shades of white, pink, cerise, redish pink and some bicolored. As you can see, they spread so quickly in pans, that I decided to just fill some window boxes that I bought at Target with them. Now, they fill four window boxes, which bloom like this for about 2 months, and then remain simply foliage planters for the rest of the summer. Rhodohypoxis foliage is nice by itself, like well behave grass, it grows no taller than 5 inches, and the containers look like fancy containers with neatly trimmed rye grass growing in them, as if they were Italian designed pots on display at a boutique hotel.

Try some Rhodohypoxis if you find some, there is always room for something this beautiful, in an alpine trough, a bonsai pot, a bulb pan, or in a window box.

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