The Clivia (Clivia
miniata) is a plant that should
be more widely grown throughout the
subtropics. It does best in dappled
light under trees where it is hard
to find other plants that will tolerate
tree root competition.
Specimens in large pots are ideal
for shady courtyards, patios and balconies.
Variegated foliage is highly prized
In its native South Africa (from
Morgan's Bay in the Eastern Cape Province
up into northern KwaZulu-Natal and
Swaziland), it does extremely well
in the decaying leaf litter on the
forest floor enjoying moist summers
and dry winters. There are several
strains (when distinctive line breeding
produces uniformity or similar looking
plants) such as C. miniata Belgium
strain, with their handsome broad
leaves; and C. miniata Sahin’s
Twin strain bred in Europe that have
broad short leaves and a shorter plant
– better suited to balconies.
The Sahin’s Twin strains often
flower in both spring and autumn providing
an added bonus.
The fashionable Clivia is traditionally
admired for its upward and outward
facing flowers held in a globular
umbel in a range of colours throughout
spring. However other species provide
the collector with pendent flowers.
Clivia caulescens –
from Npumalanga and Swaziland; flowering
in late spring to early summer.
Clivia gardenii –
from KwaZulu-Natal at low altitudes;
flowing in autumn and winter.
Clivia nobilis – from
the Eastern Cape Provence; leaves
have a unique notch or are bluntly
rounded whilst other species have
acute tips; flowering mostly in late
Clivia robusta – described
in 2004 from Port St. Johns in the
south to the Mzimkulu River in the
north; flowering from autumn to winter.
Clivia mirabilis –
discovered in 2002 in the Northern
Cape Province; flowering late spring.
Other topics covered include:
Interspecific hybrids, culture, pests
and diseases, propagation, Clivia
societies and where to buy them.