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Interesting characters in the Walled garden – Glass house

April 29, 2013

If you should venture into our glass house you’ll discover a couple of tropical plants, one native to South Africa and the other to the hillsides of the Canary Islands.

Clivia or common name Kaffir Lilly is part of the  Amaryllidaceae family. In their native habitat they are well adapted to the shade of deep forests in South Africa though do enjoy bright but not direct sun. This amaryllis relative sprouts it’s flower stalk between December and April and the spectacular  Orange flowers are borne between April and May. They require average temperatures of  between 60 ~ 75C degrees through winter and summer to thrive and therefore do best as house plants in our precarious climate.

They are named after Lady Charlotte Clive, Duchess of Northumberland. It was she who first cultivated and flowered  them in Great Britain. Clivias were first discovered in 1815 by the naturalist and explorer William Burchell in the forests of Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Clivia in full bloom

Clivia in full bloom

Aeonium Schwarzkopf (also known as Tree Aeonium) is part of the Crassulaceae a huge family of succulents. These plants thrive in Mediterranean like climates but are only mildly frost tolerant at best. The plant bears bright yellow flowers between March and May and can reach a hight of around three feet. Generally Aeoniums suffer damage when exposed to temperatures lower than 5C and thus a heated green house is essential to maintain them over our cold winters.

The name Aeonium comes from the Greek word “aionos” (ageless). Whilst most of this species in found in the Canary islands some can be found in Morocco and Madeira. The origin of ‘Schwarzkopf’ is German and means dark head.

Aeonium Schwarzkopf with it's spectacular flower spike

Aeonium Schwarzkopf with it’s spectacular flower spike ascending to over six feet

Aeonium Schwarzkopf

Aeonium Schwarzkopf

One Comment leave one →
  1. Alan Parfitt Garden Guide permalink
    May 1, 2013 8:29 am

    I love these little gems of ‘info’

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