March 27, 2012

Clivia, Oh Clivia - Some New Seedlings Bloom

A BROAD-LEAVED WIDE-EYED YELLOW CLIVIA MINIATA SEEDLING FROM OUR JAPAN COLLECTION
March is traditionally clivia season, at least in New England where these potted South African natives appear in spring flower shows, in parlors of old homes, and in plant windows  hopefully in bloom if you are handy with these notoriously shy bloomers - yes, Clivia can be challenging for many to coax into bloom, at least indoors,  but once grown in the greenhouse, they seem bloom on schedule every year, never missing a beat - proving that the trick is not withholding water, but actually is the blend of seasonal climate change - cold nights, lengthening daylight and a temperature shift is the magical recipe.

We happen to grow a few hundred clivia, most leftover from a load of seed we brought back from Japan in 2001 when we were in the depths of our clivia mania. The results from that one, fateful trip to Mr. Nakamura's tiny, simple home - deep in a quiet bamboo forest with nothing but the sound of nightingales and the breeze in rural Chiba prefecture north of Tokyo. We returned with dozens of plants, and a large mesh bag of seeds which we promptly planted, and the last are just coming into bloom. I thought that I might share a few.

SOMETIME, ORANGE CLIVIAS CAN BE ALMOST RED. THIS ONE STANDS OUT FROM THE TWO DOZEN THAT ARE IN BLOOM NOW AS THE DARKEST ONE.

I AM GUESSING THAT THIS ONE, WHICH GETS A SLIGHT BURGUNDY TINT TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE PETALS, HAS SOME INTERSPECIFIC GENES IN THE MIX. THIS IS THE FOURTH YEAR THAT IT HAS BLOOMED, AND IT REMAINS A FAVORITE BECAUSE THE FLOWERS ARE LARGE, AND THE FORM OVERALL IS SOLID.

THIS YELLOW FORM LOOKS WHITE, BUT IT'S JUST A POOR PHOTO. THE PETAL SHAPE IS WHAT INTERESTS ME. ALMOST SPIDER LIKE.

A WIDE PETALED PALE YELLOW SEEDLING.

THIS SEEDLING HAS A DEEPER YELLOW CENTER, AND NEARLY PERFECT FLORAL FORM.

2 comments :

  1. The yellow ones are stunning... They almost remind me of Plumerias.

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  2. My Clivia "Nakamura Red" (?) that Hrabota gave me (bought from you , um, 12 years ago?) shows no sign of blooming or budding this year. Alas, I have yet to find the perfect window in my house.

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