Hidden message in the buds
To clivia breeder André Meyer, the excitement in the run-up to the Garden Route Clivia show is almost - but not quite - as good as the joy of seeing the results of crossbreeding. The show takes place on
23 and 24 September at the Outeniqua Primary School in George.
André says the crossbreeding process is totally absorbing.
“The first peep of the bud deep within the clivia leaves brings a sense of relief and anticipation that there will be an inflorescence. If the plant is an offset, the flower is exactly like that of the mother plant. If the plant is the result of crossbreeding, the emergence of the bud until the opening of the flower is a real test of one’s patience.
“The success of the cross-pollination that occurred 4 - 7 years ago will soon be revealed. The final weeks, from the first appearance of the bud to the eventual opening of each flower, seems to be the longest time of the whole procedure. It is no wonder that some clivia plants seem very expensive. The variety of colour, form and shape is not the result of luck: it has been a long and dedicated process.”
Inter- and intrabreeding of clivia took place overseas before South Africans realised the potential of our unique flora. Local breeders are now making their mark both nationally and internationally. Breeders may register their new plant as a cultivar with the official registrar for the genus clivia. A cultivar must be a plant that was selected for a specific trait which is both stable and diagnostic. “This normally requires more than one breeding cycle and breeders are justly proud when they succeed in their efforts to produce something different,” says André.
Many of the successes will be on show at the Garden Route Clivia
Show and the breeders will be there to exhibit and stimulate others to strive for the plant that is going to stun everyone. Plants, seeds, literature and other necessities for clivia growing will be for sale at the show.