Monday, August 26, 2013

Gloriosa superba - climbers for strange places


Although all five Gloriosa tubers were planted at the same time on the terrace, this one, in the shadier corner, has only just begun to bloom, weeks after the rest, which - just eleven feet north - lay down and expired.

Add them to your list of easy climbers. They seem fine in pots, and I plant them with perennials and other vertical growers, like clematis, near something that will support their long, searching stems. In this case the leaf hooks clasp the stems and leaves of tall lilies that bloomed in July.

I find them fuss-free, and love the evolution of their flowers from creepy, pale green beaked monsters to full-flared and racy red flowers, with no touch of menace remaining in their arch petals


I had never noticed this, before: the pistil, I think - shooting off at a right angle.Very strange.

6 comments:

  1. I grow them on my east facing terrace and they do very well for me. Yours look lovely! Mine are long gone by now, though.

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  2. It's nice to spread your blooms into August. Nice that a little more shade will do that.

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  3. These are so beautiful. Are they annuals for you? Or can you overwinter and replant the tubers?

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    1. Yep, annuals. I had hoped they might make it through winter, as they are marginal, but they turned to mush. This year I'll dig them up and see if they are still viable in the spring.

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  4. I believe it is to prevent self pollination. The stigma is open and receptive to other pollen but kept far enough away from the anthers to avoid getting muddled up with its own. Also, sometimes the anthers open slightly later, so they don't run the risk of brushing her on her way past. Pretty cool, huh? :)

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