Lachenalia aloides

Plant of the month: February

This is by far the most popular species in its genus and looking at its stunning flowers and interesting leaves it is not hard to understand why! While Lachenalia aloides is a quite variable species, its tubular flowers are often bright yellow accented with red and green while the leaves can be marked with dramatic purple tiger stripes. This Cape cowslip, which originates from the winter rainfall region of South Africa, puts on a spectacular exotic display this time of the year while being dormant in the summer. Lachenalias are quite adaptable and fairly easy to grow. In early autumn six to twelve bulbs can be planted to a 15 cm pot using a well-drained mix with little humus. They don’t mind being crowded – in fact, they give a better display when planted this way!