Lachenalia aloides var quadricolor

NARGS Seed order came last week (expression of unbridled glee)! Do you have your order submitted yet? If not, you have d a y s... Remember, it must be received in Minnesota by February 10, 2010. While this year's list has wonderful wild collections, some from China and Georgia, there are many excellent and rare choices yet to be selected from the general list. And if you participate in the main exchange, you are eligible for the !SECOND ROUND! For a seed-aholic, things don't get any better. You may choose from thousands of leftovers that are unavailable elsewhere or so costly as to prohibit experimentation. And isn't growing from seed all about trying new things?

In the greenhouse, Lachenalia aloides var quadricolor has been putting on a nice display. While it is an excellent rock garden plant, it needs more the frost free southern California climate than Connecticut can offer. This immigrant from Cape Province, South Africa, usually dwells near the ocean on rocky granite outcrops. But it is quite amenable to a cool greenhouse here, where it gets a gritty-sandy mix, with a dash of leaf mold. The bloom at this time of year is quite special: orange, red, green, and maroon. Hot stuff! The name quadricolor refers to this spectrum and aloides refers to its aloe like flower. While it is not on this year's NARGS Seedlist, others of its tribe are there for the growing. Don't miss out.