Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ledeboria socialis

Ledebouria socialis is a plant I've enjoyed for many years. It started as a gift of a couple of bulbs from my friend Jan Sugerman, and as it flourished it was divided and given to other plant lovers among my friends.
A few years ago I tried to winter over my original plant in my cool greenhouse,only to find it one morning completely frozen and without hope of survival. Fortunately I was able to get some bulbs from one of the recipients of the earlier divisions, and so the same plant still gives me great pleasure but now wintered over in a warmer part of my house.
Although my plant has a lengthy personal history, it is only recently that I've taken the trouble to research its origins. I was interested to find that the genus Ledebouria is found mostly in South Africa (that I should have guessed) and that there are many other species and even cultivars. Now I am madly keen to acquire more, I've found mention of ten species and one cultivar, if anyone knows of a ( legal) source of these plants in Canada please let me know.


Ledebouria socialis makes an attractive container plant with its patterned leaves and delicate flowers.


Ledebouria flowers showing its similarity to Scilla and other Hyacinthaceae relatives.

6 comments:

natelovestruck said...

Awesome post! I have a couple of those myself and they are flowering away. I enjoyed reading this.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Nate,
Glad to hear that you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have a source for other Ledeboria species.

Helen said...

Barry, By coincidence, I was on my knees in the Allan Gardens cactus house taking pictures of the tiny developing Ledeboria flowers just this week. Perhaps it's possible to cozy up to the greenhouse staff, as I'm sure there must occasionally be divisions just to keep everything to scale...?

Barry Parker said...

Hi Helen,
I've been in Allen gardens when the staff were pruning and cleaning up in the cactus house, but was too shy to ask if I could help myself to the rejects. I wonder if they need any volunteers down there?

Tyler said...

I love silver squill. I bought a 2 inch pot, with three bulbs, last spring, and it has now filled a 6-inch flowerpot and it flowering like mad in my sunroom.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Nate,

It is a lovely plant isn't it. I saw some beautiful specimens last week at the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Any idea of how to get other species and cultivars??