Saturday, January 14, 2012

Walleria gracilis, winter growing beauty

This is a hard plant to photograph, as it is quite delicate and this one was blooming under lights, where it weaves in and out among the pelargoniums and other South African geophytes that share the same winter home.  I grew it from seeds from Silverhill that took quite a long time to germinate.  I remember thinking it was summer growing, since it looks kind of like a mini gloriosa lily in growth, but it is in fact a winter grower, as would be expected when one realizes it comes from the Vanrhynsdorp area of the Cape.  Sprouts appear in fall and the wiry stems rise,with soft prickles on the leaf midrib undersides, and the bright white flowers marked with an inner blue ring appear sometime afterwards.  I have not been able to set seed on the plant that bloomed this year, its first, but there appear to be others in the pot that I can try crossing it with next year.  I am guessing that it is not self fertile.  Sometime in spring the plants will die down in the manner of other winter growing Cape geophytes.  Then it will be allowed to dry out and set aside along with many others that follow the same cycle until September rolls around.  At that time, my indoor garden, which keeps me sane during NY winters, will rise again from these summer sleeping pots. 

1 comment:

scottweberpdx said...

Very delicate!