More about the genus
The genus Lachenalia is native to the Southern parts of Africa. A large number of species are found in the Republic of South Africa, mainly in the winter-rainfall areas. The genus belongs to the Hyacinthaceae family and includes some 120 species. Most of these species have little commercial value, however few of them have excellent potplant qualities. The flowers of different species vary enormously in colour, ranging from blue to green to red, purple, yellow, orange and white. They are often bicolored or tricolored. Some are sweetly scented. Foliage, which may be a single broad leaf or many grass-like upstanding leaves, is often speckled and either hairy or smooth. The wide and interesting variety in flower color and shape, leaf color and the fact that plants have a compact growth under suitable conditions make them ideal for pot plant production. The Agriculture Research Council(ARC) (Please see links for contact details) in South Africa has developed several excellent pot plant varieties.
Afriflowers is currently the sole bulb producer of ARC’s cultivars. Five cultivars are for potplant purposes, namely Rosabeth, Ronina, Namakwa, Romaud and Rupert. However six new varieties have been introduced into the production system to be available in 2017 and beyond. These include Aqua Lady, Cherise, Radiant, Rainbow Bells, Josephine and Riana.
All bulbs are produced on a disease free scheme and are of highest quality. Dormant bulbs are exported worldwide.
Lachenalia bulbs can be forced to flower year round, provided that optimum growth conditions can be supplied. The golden tip for quality pot plants is cool growth temperatures with high light intensities. Excessive heat or low light levels will result in limp and lanky plants that may not flower well. These conditions can also encourage rot. Detailed pot plant production technology is available from Afriflowers or ARC.
Dry bulbs are available from February-April (Preferable planting dates for the Southern hemisphere) and from September-November (Preferable dates for the Northern hemisphere). However, if a large quantity of bulbs is needed in September-November an order needs to be placed during April-May.
Pot plants or plugs available in South Africa
Pot plants are available in South Africa from June to August. Lachnalias are excellent pot plants and the bright yellow, red and blue colours will brighten-up any dull winter office, home, veranda or garden. Plants last for four-six weeks depending on keeping temperatures.
An added advantage is that plants can be transplanted to the garden a container of choice. For convenient transplanting, Afriflowers has also plants as plugs available.