|Gladiolus splendens, is a tall, red-blooming species that looks nothing like the hybrid summer-blooming forms most people are familiar with.|
Late February and Early March marks an important time of transition in the the plant collectors greenhouse. It's the start of autumn in the southern hemisphere, and spring, in the north, and plants react to the lengthening day light, and the brighter sun. We, as humans working cubicles and under florescent lights sometimes miss this subtle seasonal shifts, but there is nothing subtle about how the plants react. This is the season of orchids, since many bloom now ( as they do in the autumn) than in any other time of the year, and, this is the season for many bulbs which naturally want to grow with the lengthening daylight, ( which is why spring flower shows are scheduled for this time of year).
South African bulbs are the stars in the greenhouse this cold February Sunday. After missing a snowstorm by a mere 50 miles this weekend, ( it did snow in upstate New York, yet we only enjoyed the beauty of blinding snow squalls and fierce winds).
|Pink Velthiemia make cheerful potted winter-blooming bulbs, but the pale-yellow form of Velthiemia bracteata is less common. Here, V. bracteata 'Lemon Flame' begins its season - the flowers are almost open.|
|A Velthiemia bracteata 'Lemon Flame' blooming in a Guy Wolff long-tom pot.|
|Even less common, Velthiemia bracteata 'Rose-Alba', has ivory and salmon blossoms, along with wavy, bluish leaves.|
|A few more Clivia that are blooming right now. This cross, again, another C. miniata x C. gardenii has darker trumpet shaped blossoms.|