Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ferraria undulata

Ferraria undulata
Bulb catalogues with offers of spring flowering bulbs usually arrive in January and it is difficult to even think that far ahead while the surf beckons.This South African bulb is one such bulb on offer from (the late) Bryan H Tonkin per his wife Shirley and daughter Jane in their summer 2009 catalogue. They also list Ferraria crispa which has darker velvety maroon coloured flowers.
I first encountered this bulb growing wild in Waverley Cemetery (in Sydney) under a 19th century headstone. Indeed it has a "Gothic Victorian" air about it as the flowers emit a queer smell ......a sort of musty closed tomb odour . To make matters worse the newly closed flowers (seen in bottom of photo) form a drop of dark coloured liquid at the tip which resembles a drop of blood.
Time to get out that LP of The Cramps and give it a spin! and bring on Halloween

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