Plant Sales at Melbourne Polytechnic

Spring Time is Bulb Time


You may notice in a number of publications some new bulbs that are being sold, that are really renewed or recycled bulb. Sometimes in the world of plants it is quite common that old becomes new.

Question; “I was walking around a friends garden and was stunned to see a large red stalked flower that looked like spokes on a wheel at the top, that looked plastic, what is this flower”.

From your description of the flower I would most likely say that the plant you have described is a Brunsvigia josephinae or Candelabra Flower, this is one of those plants that have become new again. They are a very large bulb, almost as large as a rock melon. However they will take up to 4 years to flower, but it is worth the wait.

As stated above there is quite a lot of recycled bulbs being made available again, some of these are very attractive and are very hardy so will continue to flower for years to come with very little effort.

Some other great bulbs that are making a comeback are Alstroemeria, Flowers of the Incas, or New Zealand Christmas Bells. Amaryllis belladonna, Belladonna Lily or Naked Lady, best known as the tall pink or white flowers growing around sites that a home was once sited, it is known as the Naked Lady due to it having no leaves at all while it is flowering.

Another plant that has seen resurgence over the past few years has been the Clivia miniata, or Kaffir Lily, in many an older garden you would see these large tufted clumps growing in shaded areas with a faded orange flower. Recent releases have seen the flowers become more vivid in colour, with bright orange flowers, to burnt orange as well as the clear yellow flowers (see below).







Kniphofia uvaria, or Red-hot Poker is another plant that has made a comeback, with all the newer varieties having larger flowers with stronger colours, this plant has also returned with a new yellow flowered variety, ‘Bees Lemon’.

Keep a look out for even more of these recycled bulbs, they are worth looking at as they will grow in the toughest conditions and will put on a lovely show every year without too much work.

Ask our friendly staff for more information.

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Last Modified: November 25, 2014

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