Slender, Shady, And Totally Tubular - Clivia gardenii

|Clivia gardenii floral profile|

|Clivia gardenii floral profile|

When was the last time you were in a forest?  I haven't been in one for years.  They remind me of childhood.  They remind me of places where you can enjoy a certain type of silence that only gets interrupted by the soothing sounds of birds, wind in the trees, or an outburst of plant color.  Let us travel now to the forests of South Africa, where in late winter/early spring rich green sweeps of a tropical, clump-forming perennial plants called Clivia begin launching floral fireworks of vibrant orange color. The vividness of color they exude electrifies the forest in a soothing, comforting way. Now there are different kinds of clivia and I have a favorite.  May I present, Clivia gardenii commonly known as Major's Garden Clivia, Boslelie (that's Afrikaans - a native language of South Africa for those who don't know), and umayime (that's Zulu).

Clivia gardenii is a bulb, related to Amaryllis, that produces handsome, chunky, strap-like leaves with lustrously green tones of color.  From late winter through spring, this clivia launches colorful comets of vibrant orange flowers with inner yellowish trumpets tipped green.  Flowers are then followed by plump green inedible fruits that transition to red as they mature.

|Clivia gardenii detail|

|Clivia gardenii detail|

Clivia gardenii like part-sun/shade conditions.  They like regular water most of the year, but should be left on the drier side during the late autumn and winter months. This helps increase future flowering.  Plants grow up to 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet tall and wide.  They're hardy down to 25 degrees fahrenheit/-3 degrees celsius.  The great thing about this plant is that its thrives outdoors in dry shade areas and indoors with bright, indirect light.  So it's versatile plus easy to care for.  What's not to love?!  It's a slender, shade-lovin', totally tubular tantalizer!