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  • Amaryllis
    • belladonna   CAG01045

      (Easter lily, Naked lady)
      Height1m
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun - Shade
      Amaryllis belladonna
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A super tough South African that should need little introduction, though, where once its autumn spectacle was taken for granted through the South West it is now being increasingly displaced by fleeting makeover starlets.

      Clusters of large. flaring, funnel shaped flowers, pale pink and deepening with age, are carried atop sturdy, fleshy stems. The strappy, dark green leaves emerge after flowering from the necks of large, papery, brown bulbs that are typically somewhat exposed, adjusting to their preferred depth with the aid of contractile roots. Becoming deciduous with rising temperatures in spring and then requiring zero water over summer.

      Infallible in any soil, in any position except the densest shade. Usually takes several years to settle in and commence flowering for perpetuity.

      For me, nothing heralds more the imminent return of cooler weather and rain than the sight of fat buds thrusting naked from parched ground. I imagine it is the same joy that gardeners in cold regions feel on seeing the first hint of spring in a shoot emerging from snow.

    • belladonna Deep pink   CAG02331
      Height40cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Clusters of deep magenta-pink, widely flaring trumpet-like flowers pop up on juicy stalks at the end of summer to be followed by tidy clumps of strappy dark green leaves that emerge from plump papery tuniced bulbs.

      More richly coloured flowers and lower, narrower foliage than typical A. belladonna fare, I suppose this to have some Nerine influence (x Amarine maybe) or it may just be natural variability within the species.

      Summer dormant and indestructibly hardy, grows anywhere in anything and lives forever. My mother found this years ago sitting on clay pan, in standing water (not recommended), surrounded by horses, a relic of early settlement given the size of the clump. Native to southern Africa.

  • Canarina
    • canariensis   CAG01713

      (Canary Island bellflower)
      Height4m
      Width4m
      Flowering SeasonWi - Sp
      WaterL
      LightLight Shade
      Canarina canariensis
      for $7.00earn 100 points

      A winter growing climber from the Canary Islands and one of the few members of the Campanula family with flowers of a colour other than blue, purple, white or pink.

      Succulent stems scramble over any nearby support clothing themselves as they grow with rubbery, toothed, triangular leaves. From mid winter until the summer heat, pendant , bell shaped, orange flowers, intricately veined in red, glow amongst the foliage. Improbably real, rather seeming to be molded from translucent orange rubber and stuck on by a garden prankster.
      With the onset of summer it quietly retreats underground to it's large tuberous roots to await the cooler moister weather needed to support such a riot of opulent growth, making it ideally suited to Perth's Mediterranean climate.

      A lightly shaded site with well drained soil and little if any summer water is ideal. Against the south side of a house or other building is often to it's liking making it one of the few plants to thrive in such a situation.

      So unlike any other plant. Plant porn as it's finest.

  • Chasmanthe
    • floribunda   CAG02923
      Height1.5m
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Like a Watsonia on roids.
      Bold lush clumps of bright green, sword-like leaves support slightly wayward, planar spikes of tubular, burnt orange, bird pollinated flowers on slender dark stems, perfect for the vase or the drought loving tropical style garden. Cormous and summer deciduous. From south western Africa.

      Not weedy as are some of the Watsonia, with which it is often confused, though it does self sow and seems to be more fond of drier conditions.
      Easily grown in any well drained sunny soil, during its summer dormancy irrigation is unnecessary and may even be of detriment (I've never tried watering it).

  • Nerine
    • bowdenii ‘Winter Cheer’   CAG01697
      Height20cm
      Width20cm
      Flowering SeasonWinter
      WaterL
      LightSun
      Nerine bowdenii ‘Winter Cheer’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Clusters of bright lipstick pink flowers on very slender stems, daintier than most of the N. sarniensis types. Valued for its late blooming period, after winters descent when it has few floral competitors and its gay colour is most appreciated. Multiplies rapidly to form a low clump of narrow, glossy green, strap-like leaves that emerge after the flowers and are shed each summer. Some light shade may be beneficial.

      A summer rainfall species that still performs admirably here sans irrigation though it flowers even better in watered gardens where the less moisture tolerant winter rainfall species fail.

      Plant bulbs with their neck barely protruding from the soil surface, once they adjust themselves as desired, with the aid of their contractile roots, flowering will commence and increase in grandeur annually for ever more.

    • ‘Coral Queen’   CAG02271
      Height30cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Firework clusters of spidery, bright coral pink blooms on smooth, fleshy stalks from papery brown bulbs that increase fairly rapidly to form impressive clumps after several years and then keep getting better for a lifetime. The strappy green leaves only emerge well after flowering which commences with falling temperatures and the addition of water in autumn.

      Deciduous over summer and then needing a dry rest but tolerant of some summer moisture. Easily grown in any lean, well drained soil, barely covering the bulbs, they will adjust themselves to their preferred depth. An excellent pot subject and fantastic table centrepiece when in flower.

    • ‘Optimist’   CAG03065
      Height30cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun
      Nerine ‘Optimist’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Clusters of fierce scarlet flowers with prominently protruding stamens atop sturdy stems. Garden fireworks that celebrate the arrival of the wet season.

      Strappy bluish green leaves emerge shortly after flowering from the top of papery tuniced long necked bulbs which should be planted with necks exposed.

      For any well drained soil. A drier rest during summer dormancy is essential to initiate flowering and for long term survival.

  • Oxalis
  • Watsonia
    • aletroides   CAG01174

      (Shrimp plant)
      Height1.2m
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun
      Watsonia aletroides
      for $7.00earn 100 points

      Tubular, pale mouthed, coral flowers are artfully staggered to one side of slender vertical stems above a dense clump of red edged, sword-like leaves. A South African bulb (corm) that is summer deciduous and therefore eminently drought hardy, in fact a dry rest is essential.

      Stunning thrusting from between the simple mounds of cool coloured staples, Catmint, Lavender, and maybe a few of the Dutch Iris ‘Wedgwood’ that flowers simultaneously.

      Easily grown in any very sunny summer dry soil, heavy soils and wet feet in winter are tolerated and may even be preferred.

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