Plant of the Month: August 2012

Swaying in the wind

The Dierama collection growing at the Garden has this season been spectacular. Delicate and delightful images of arching fishing rods come to mind, a slight breeze causes the hanging flowers to nod gracefully.

In the rock garden there is a point where two species, both collected by Olive Hilliard and Bill Burtt in South Africa, border a path.

Brush through the swaying spikes of D. trichorhizum and D. drachomontanum. Both species collected by Hilliard and Burtt during their botanising trips to South Africa. These plants are found at c.1900m altitude within grassland near the border with Lesotho where they are easily visible.

The flowers drop like earrings from the wiry stalk. Several are held in a line and swathed in tissue paper thin bracts that reflect the sun. The pink petals open out and splay bell shaped at maturity.

If offered divisions these are best accepted during spring. The offshoots have a tendency to sulk for the first two years after transplanting thereafter they lead a trouble free existence. 

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