I always dread people buying me plants, what with having very specific taste, most of the common plants I want and little space, it doesn't lend itself to friends and family find things I needed. So it was an especially nice surprise when my parents dropped off this eucomis vandermerwei a few years back. Most people seem to have at least one eucomis in their garden, as I did at the time. I had not heard of this one though, and in fact have yet to see it anywhere else.
As you can see it is a lovely spotted form with very clear, defined purple spots on the leaves which tend to lie more prone to the ground. What makes this form different is the size, it is one of the smallest forms and grows to around 10cm tall. My whole clump, which contains 5 plants, is only 15cm across. It really doesn't show up in photos, and needs to be seen in person to see how perfect a dwarf form it is.
It originates from a high rainfall South African mountain plateau, at altitudes of between 1700 and 2275 meters. This makes is quite used to frosts, although sadly it needs to be kept on the drier side during the very cold weather to do best. Up until now my clump has been in a pot, but I am risking it in the ground where it will get a rain cover to keep the worst of the weather off
It flowers in August for me, with the main plant flowering every year. The offsets have yet to flower, but keeping it restricted in a pot may have slowed their growth.
Being so small, you have to get pretty close to see the flowers properly. It will be interesting to see if it works in the rockery, or if it gets lost.
So there you have eucomis vandermerwei my favourite plant this week. Head over to Lorees blog Danger Garden to see other selections.