Siphonochilus and Spring garden

Rogan Roth
Tue, 18 Oct 2005 03:11:31 PDT
Dear All,

For all lovers of gingers, a page on Siphonochilus - please add more
images of this striking genus if you have them:… 

This season I'm hoping for more blooms from my Siphonochilus aethiopica
patch. Siphonochilus, for those who don't know it, is a genus of ginger
plants that are native to the south-eastern parts of southern Africa.
They are very rare and endangered plants in the wild as they are
over-utilized for their medicinal properties. S. aethiopicus is noted
for its large, striking pink, yellow and white flowers which appear at
the base of the plant during the summer months.

Spring in my garden is "loudly" announced by the emerging spathes of
Sauromatum gutatum, the voodoo lily. It is a facinating process watching
the developing inflorescence until the leopard-spotted spath reflexes,
revealing the maroon whip-like spadix - and of course, the smell! I have
always been intrigued by people who meet this plant for the first time;
reactions vary from total revulsion to reserved admiration - some
actually enjoy the smell!

A week or two ago I noticed the first blooms on my Cypella hauthallii
opalina plants. This charming beauty is a fantastic plant to grow as it
produces its delicate blooms over a long period in spring and early

The great excitement at the moment is the first inflorescence
developing on my Disa uniflora plant/s. Several years ago I was able to
obtain a few small en vitro seedlings, but never expected them to
survive in my warm, humid climate. By growing them in small pots in a
50/50 mixture of sphagnum peat and sharp river sand, plunged in a bed of
living sphagnum moss they have thrived. The first blooms are eagerly

I have added a few pictures of Disa uniflora to the wiki page that I
was fortunate enough to see and photograph in the Kirstenbosch Botanic
Gardens (Cape Town) in January this year:… 

Good growing
Rogan (Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa).

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