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Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Flowering in September

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Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by Jon Evans, 06 October 2011, 11:17. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Jon Evans 10 September 2011, 20:47top / bottom of page

Last Sunday, on my return from holiday, I soaked my South African bulbs in the greenhouse, and most of the Mediterranean bulbs in the frames, except for those I have still to re-pot. With the watering, many have sprung into life, and are already flowering. Many others will follow in the next week; I expect all to be over before the Autumn South show.

Strumaria karooica

This actually flowered mid-August, just before I went away. The photo is deceptive (taken wide-angle); this is a tiny plant, only 4 inches high; the individual flowers are less than 1/2 an inch across.

Strumaria karooica

Here is another form of the same species, from a different source. This is very different; 8-10 inches tall, with larger, more solid, much whiter flowers.

Two other similar Strumarias are also in flower; both about 4 inches high, with heads of white flowers. Strumaria discifera ssp discifera and Strumaria aestivalis. The other species I grow have yet to re-awaken from the summer.

Regular attendees at shows will be familiar with the autumn-flowering Empodium flexile. This is another, smaller species, Empodium plicatum, in a 4.5inch pot, only an inch or so high, and an inch across. Like its larger relative, it has a wonderful, lemony spicy scent; these few small flowers fill the greenhouse when the sun is out.

Also in the greenhouse, two more Haemanthus have produced flower scapes. This is Haemanthus incarnatus. I will post more pictures when the flowers open.

Outside in the garden, two plants I don't have names for any more. First a geranium which has survived the last two winters. It grows from a central point and doesn't root down, or set seed. I will have to try some cuttings. Does anyone know what this plant is ?

Finally, a perennial Helianthus, which is the best form I have ever grown, if a bit invasive. I believe it is probably a well-known clone, but I have never had a name for it. If fed, the flowering stems can be 8 feet high, with bowl shaped flowers 6-8 inches across. Currently mine are rather starved, and somewhat smaller, but also taking over one corner of my neighbours' garden.

Contribution from Jon Evans 13 September 2011, 12:16top / bottom of page

Reprising the earlier posting, here are a couple more pictures of Empodium plicatum, now with four flowers in the pot.

The Haemanthus are opening - an acquired taste for some perhaps. The red one is H. incarnatus (a fantastic colour) and the little pink one is H. barkerae.

Also flowering now, Oxalis speciosa. I know there are AGS members who do a lot better with it than this, but this is the best flowering I have had.

Finally Rhodophiala. I have two pots, one which is R. bifida, with 3 scapes of flowers, and one which came to me as R. advena, but which looks exactly the same, with 5 scapes developing. I'll post some pictures of that when the flowers open, to confirm that it is really bifida.

Contribution from David Nicholson 13 September 2011, 18:57top / bottom of page

Lovely stuff Jon.

Contribution from Jon Evans 16 September 2011, 11:31top / bottom of page

Thanks David

It's good to know there's someone out there !

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 16 September 2011, 17:20top / bottom of page

Well, there are at least two of us :-)))

Contribution from Cliff Booker 16 September 2011, 19:14top / bottom of page

Quite a select following really!

Excellent images Jon. Many thanks for posting.

Contribution from Jon Evans 18 September 2011, 22:40top / bottom of page

A very select following indeed. Thank you all. The pictures are just snaps really, but I thought that there were some unusual plants here that members would like to see.

Contribution from Jon Evans 19 September 2011, 14:42top / bottom of page

My second pot of Rhodophiala (which came as advena) is now out, and I cannot see any difference at all between this plant and bifida.

Some more of the Strumarias have appeared. I thought some of you might be interested to see; the flower scapes appear before the leaves. These curious deep red serpentine threads are flower scapes, and the narrow sheath at the end will produce a little star burst of flowers, like the plants above, in the case of this species (S. watermeyeri) pale pink rather than the usual white.

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