By Richard L. Doutt
The Cape Province of South Africa enjoys a Mediterranean weather just like that of a lot of California, however the unique bulbs local to the quarter can, with right care, be grown in harsher & wetter climates. This ebook describes the author's favorites, all of which he has effectively grown in his backyard.
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Extra info for Cape Bulbs: Their Collection, Cultivation and Conservation
Under these conditions, Dr. Boussard reports Page 36 that the corms are unharmed even if the foliage is injured. He found that all his winter-growing Cape irids withstood a few degrees of frost, and severalGladiolus floribundus, G. tristis, Moraea bellendenii, and some Ixia and Sparaxiswere quite hardy. In the glasshouse the air is moved by fans when the weather is too cold to open vents. Dr. Boussard uses extra fluorescent light for species that grow in Cape areas with strong winter sunshine, including Anomalesia saccata, Gladiolus equitans, and Moraea bolusii.
The shade cloth may function as a substitute for the shelter that shrubs provide to many bulbs in the veld. Bulbous flowers are often found thrusting up through a sheltering plant, though the bulb's survival may be due more to the protection from grazing animals afforded by a prickly bush than to its sheltering shade. In California I grow most bulbs in the open, but the surrounding coast live oak and sycamore trees do shade them for part of the day. I have found that newly emerged seedlings survive far better in partial shade than in full sun.
The rules also require that no more than one-third of the flowers be picked from a bush and that one-third of the stem be left on bulbous plants. Furthermore, the flower stems are to be cut with scissors to prevent the bulb from being inadvertently plucked from the ground. I accompanied the pickers to a mountain farm set aside by a local man solely for the natural production of wildflowers. They were after the famous Caledon bluebell, Gladiolus bullatus, which occurs as scattered, single plants.
Cape Bulbs: Their Collection, Cultivation and Conservation by Richard L. Doutt