Clivia flowers on display
Organisers of this year’s Clivia Show at Te Puna Quarry Park have scheduled the display a little earlier to let visitors see some different flowers.
“Choosing a date for the show is a gamble because each growing season is different,” says Ian Duncalf, “but we haven’t had one this early before so therewill definitely be new flowers to see.”
Ian, who has been breeding the plant native to South Africa for 20 years in Te Puna, in 2016 named a plant for golfer Lydia Ko and is assessing a plant flowering for the first time this year to name for Dame Valerie Adams. “It’s a good robust colour, almost a red, so is something special— naming it for Val would be appropriate.”
The Clivia Show will feature plants bred by Ian and co- organiser Jude Coenen ofApata, as well as plants developed by growers in Auckland and Palmerston North. Ian is also working with Veltheimia bulbs (forest lily) and will have these at the show.
Jude and Ian each raise thousands of clivia seedlings a year, although there’s a dramatic cull when the plants finally flower five years from seed.
“I might see 300 flower and keep 10,” Ian says. “We’re both attempting to create particular things when we make crosses but you can get four plants flower from the same cross and they’re all different, sometimes wildly so.”
Jude, who has been “serious” about breeding clivia for 12 years, was excited to find an attractive green flower in among her yellow crosses. “They’re all
individuals, like children— you don’t know what genetic mix you’re going to get.
“What’s not to like? They’re evergreenwith attractive strappy foliage, have beautiful flowers that stand above the leaves, the seed berries colour up as they age and they grow in dry shade where not much else will do. Theywill stand a fair amount of neglect which is a bonus for any gardener.”
Jude Coenen of Apata, co-organiser of this year’s Clivia Show.