Glorious Gloriosa (finally!)

Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba 'Rothchildiana')

I have tried planting a Gloriosa Lily a number of times.  Each time was an abject failure.  Last year I managed to get one to poke it’s head above the ground but that was it.  I had resolved that I was going to try just growing them in pots.  But this year I planted the elongated tuber as soon as it arrived from Brent and Becky’s.  I was rewarded with a strong growing plant that I gave substantial iron trellis too because I’ve seen in son Jonathan’s garden how this exotic vine wants to twist and turn.  It was interesting to watch the flower evolve with it’s distinctively shaped petals.

Gloriosa Lily opening

It has put out two flowers so far (hooray!) but as those are fading I can see more buds developing.  It’s a nice sunny location so we shall how extensive this gets by fall.  One of the difficult choices will be whether to harvest the tuber and bring it inside (like a dahlia) or to let it try to winter over which it might possibly do with a lot of mulch in zone 7.

Another exotic flower that came into bloom this week is the Peruvian Daffodil.

Peruvian Daffodil (Hymenocallis festalis)

This one is in a pot.  In fact it is in the same pot that I put it in back in 2009.  And then left it in the basement by accident for all of 2011.  I put it in the pile of pots to be recycled in the garage this spring until I noticed this amaryllis like green spike coming out of the pot.  As it turns out it must have been busy propagating in the basement because there are now multiple shoots and it flowered just fine despite the year off.  So in addition to being another of the more dramatic flowers you will see with the spider-like petals it’s also one of the hardier subtropicals around.

And while we are talking about Peru, the Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria) has become not just a survivor around here but a robust and beautiful spreader in our gardens.  All due to a hybrid cultivar, Sweet Laura, that seems to be very comfortable with out climate.

Alstroemeria (Sweet Laura) surrounded by ponytail grass

The Alstroemeria is not really from Peru but then again a rose by any other name…

Another of my planting experiments that has fully succeeded this year is the Crinum.  I’ve tried Crinum several times and was never much impressed with the results.  Last year it put up a pathetic little flower in the rose garden but this year seems to have acquired its dancing shoes.

Crinum powelli

Seeing just how pretty it can be I wish I had chosen a better spot.  It’s in with lilies that are easily twice as tall and it’s a bit overshadowed.  But when you focus on just the Crinum it’s a very pretty plant.  Apparently it takes a bit to get established so I’m not anxious to move it.

I guess as long as I have focussed on exotics in this post I should mention one of the Arisaemas that I planted this year.  The Chinese Cobra Lily came from Plant Delights.

Chinese cobra lily (Arisaema engleri)

Standing back it looks a little bit like a palm tree on a deserted tropical island.  As you get closer you can see how really pretty the spadix is.

Arisaema engleri

It’s nearing the end of June and although it’s been dry the weather has been generally superb.  I suspect that won’t last and we have all the hoses spread out for the oncoming dry weather.  Meanwhile we are bringing in bowls of squash, beans and blueberries every night…

One comment on “Glorious Gloriosa (finally!)

  1. Les

    My crinum has finally decided to bloom after a two year rest. I have it in a fair amount of shade, perhaps too much.