Clivia flow­ers on dis­play

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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