Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: More cape cowslip (cow’s lip?)

Last week I wrote about four Lachenalia aloides I recently bought at the monthly meeting of the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society (SCSS). Two are the straight species and two are variety quadricolor, which has petals in four colors: red, yellow, orange and green.

The common name of this South African bulb is “cape cowslip.” I assume that means cow’s lip. Or is it cow slip? Personally, I haven’t seen too many cows wearing undergarments.

Anyway, Dave Vitolo who follows my Facebook page told me that the South African section at the UC Davis Arboretum, small as it is, has a large clump of Lachenalia aloides var. quadricolor that is in full bloom right now. I headed over there on Friday and took the photos you see in this post.

Cape cowslips may not be large in size, but in full bloom, their impact is undeniable—especially en masse. I can’t wait for my small plants to multiply. I wonder if each bulb splits into two or whether it produces multiples?

The aloe behind the cape cowslip is Aloe microstigma. It also was in full bloom.

Now is a great time to visit UC Davis. Many of the aloes are spectacular at the moment. I’ll have another post later in the week.

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The Wednesday Vignette meme is hosted by Anna Kullgren over at Flutter and Hum. You can read her current Wednesday Vignette post here. Be sure to check out the links to other blogs that are also participating.

16 comments:

  1. Those things are potent -- so vibrant! You didn't plant them near any Aloes, did you? Still will be a nice repeating theme of color late each winter. :)

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    1. No, mine are planted near a bunch of cactus. But hopefully I'll have masses of my own someday so I can transplant them anywhere I want.

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  2. WOW! Knock your socks off bright. Maybe it's clow slip not as in undergarments but as in they step on them (the horror) and slip. Paints quite a picture doesn't it?

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  3. Those bulbs are beautiful, especially planted en masse. It'll be interesting to see how quickly they naturalize.

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    1. Me too!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will multiply quickly.

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  4. The Lachenalia flowers look like fallen petals of the Aloe. Cool!

    Is the microstigma an offsetting clump? It must love the heat of Davis.

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    1. The aloe and lachenalia together is a red hot combo, isn't it?

      My Aloe microstigma is solitary but this one is clearly a clumper. And it definitely loves the heat in this spot.

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  5. They're like miniature sunsets going off! Beautiful!

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    1. What a great description! I can see the fireworks :-)

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  6. How cute! Especially with the color repeating from the aloe. Smaller plants that can be appreciated up close like this one are something I need more of in my garden.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. I'm paying more attention to smaller plants now, especially in beds where I can get up close.

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  7. Gerhard, I've been told that these can also be propagated by making leaf cuttings; sectioning the foliage into 3 to 4 sections, and placing into medium with what was the bottom edge down, and that they will form bulbils. What I don't remember is the timing; whether this should be done before blooming or after also works. I suspect doing this as early as the foliage is fully expanded works best.

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    1. David, I tried leaf cuttings a couple of weeks ago but they just turned brown.

      I read somewhere that leaf cuttings should be taken in January. That would be before blooming. Makes sense--the leaf is fresh and full of vigor then, not nearing the end of its life like the leaf I used.

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