Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lachenalia aloides,'Soldier Boy'

 Lachenalia aloides
Bulbs can be tricky to grow if you buy them from a supplier who is based in a cool temperate climate.  You plant them at the recommended time in autumn and they immediately think wow this place feels like spring and bolt into flower almost immediately. Such was the case with these Lachenalia which are supposed to reach about 30cm before coming into flower in early spring. They do look quite cute and are certainly bright but they are dumpy and only a few centimetres tall and most disappointing.  The common name of 'Soldier Boy' is given because they usually stand stiff and to attention. Their other common name is Cape Cowslip which alludes to their South African origin.They come from an area of winter rainfall followed by a hot baking dry summer so in a garden situation they need to be dried off over summer or they may succumb to fungal disease and rot. The history and cultivation of this interesting genus can be found on the following site:

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