Monday, 15 November 2010

Out of danger at last

One of the plants I always check in on when I visit Kew is Bulbine latifolia.  This plant is from South Africa and resembles a red hot poker. Be careful not to get this confused with Bulbinella latifolia ssp latifolia which is a bulb also from South Africa of which there are two forms.  Apart from the shape of the plant one of the things I like about it is that it is always in flower, I don't think I have ever visited when it has not been flowering, (although I do not think this is normal).

Having decided I wanted it,  I started trying to track one down and managed to find some seeds.  There are now a few suppliers who sell seeds of both varieties so hopefully it will become more common in a few years.  As usual I had no problem getting the seeds to germinate, and then had a very anxious wait while one by one I managed to kill the seedlings before they developed into young plants.  Keeping seedlings alive is something I am really not very good at.  I know the theory but some how either manage to over or under water them.

Anyway I was left with one plant and this was just getting going when to my horror it got attacked by some bug and lost its growing point. You can imagine my disappointment at seeing the damage, but I didn't give up and sure enough a month later it was pushing out two new growth points.  I have been watching it determined not let this one slip away and I think we are finally out of the woods.  The plant is now into full growth and shows no signs of being weekend by my shoddy early care.

Hopefully in 1 - 2 years I will be posting pictures of the plant in flower (or 3 - 4 years if I ordered the wrong seeds)!


  1. Wow congrats! Hopefully you'll cut that estimate in half and be posting blooms in 1.5 - 2 years.

  2. DG I have now slightly altered this post, as I remembered that the label for this plant is wrong (or that the actual Bulbinella latifolia ssp latifolia is planted next to it). Anyway the good news is that flowers of the actual plant in the photo only take 18 months!