Thu, 17 Apr 2003 06:52:58 PDT
Jamie Vande    Cologne    Germany    Zone 8

This lovely little and mixed-up genus is currently available in Europe as a pot plant.  Normally, one see's them in the stores around September, blooming in a charming clay pot in a peat mix (?), for about Euro 8.00.

I just saw some corms in pre-pack at the garden centre and, being hopelessly addicted to trying out items I've never been sucessful with, such as Lachenalia, I purchased 3 packs of three corms each of the following hybrids; Rolina, a speckled leafed gold-yeelow with pink blush; Robijn, a deep pink, closed trunpet, lightly specked leaves; and Romand, with plain leaves, speckled stems and lime green to citrus blooms.  The people at the garden centre are very understanding and used to me inspecting most carefully each and every pack to obtain the best possible specimens.  It's amazing what some people will buy, not realizing that those mummies will never sprout!  I snatched-up the best.

 OK, I'm ready, what should I do with 'em?  I've read one uses a well-drained, rich soil.  How about compost, garden soil and grit in equal parts?  Or 50% grit?  From what I can figure, these are summer growing hybrids.

I, also, found (are you ready for this!!) a yellow-apricot Clivia (pronounced according to preferance or time of day, not to mention present company or need to impress one's self that they have mastered all possible manifestations of this all too illusive language!) for the niffty price of Euro 16.98.  I think it was a bargain.  Admittedly, it won't win an award as the floral segments are quite narrow, the umbel had but 8 flowers, but the flowers are pretty large and a lovely shade of golden apricot.  Plus, it had bloomed on another spike recently, so it is pretty robust (and over-fertilised, not to mentioned having been rejected by the hyridizer).  What I found interesting is that, around this single yellow plant, the others on the table were not typical orange, but various shades of deep apricot-red to scarlet, again with poor flower form.  Someone is clearly working on this plant in my area, but who!?

All in all, a good start to the Easter weekend, which, as we all no, is only a step away from Christmas for hellishness on the highways!  Please drive safe and don't forget your patience (as well as a flask of water, it's hot, here!) 

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