Gladiolus tristis

Rogan Roth
Thu, 21 May 2009 00:02:21 PDT
When I visited the southern Cape province a few years ago, I remember wandering down the lanes in awe of hundreds of G. tristis growing in the very wet drainage ditches beside the lanes. In the dusk of evening their combined bouquet was quite intoxicating. Growing in drier areas G. liliaceus was also very common - is this glad widely grown in other parts of the world at all ? As the year was 2006, after exceptional winter rains, the countryside was literally covered with the blooms of countless thousands of Watsonia aletroides plants too - certainly one of those occasions that becomes indelibly imprinted in memory for life...
On a totally different tack - this morning I noticed a delicate seedling of Tropaeolum azureum twining its way up an adjacent shrub. After countless attempts to grow this plant from seed this is the first time I've had any measure of success - hopefully I'll be able to keep the little seedling happy until it reaches flowering size! Last week it was Lapageria's turn - not to germinate it, but to flower it (well, just a bud at present) after nearly ten years of frustrated culturing. Now all I've got to wait for is Techophilaea and Worsleya, then I would've bagged the Big Five!

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