Veltheimia bracteata

This is a most unusual bulb which hails from South Africa, sometimes known as the forest lily. Its bloom is a dense cluster of tubular flowers (in various shades of pink) on a stem to 60 cm, looking rather like a Kniphofia. They come into bloom in late winter and early spring. The flowers are long lasting. The leaves are broad and fleshy, and form a basal rosette. The leaves die back in summer and reappear in late summer or autumn. It grows in semi-shade or shade, in humus-rich, well-drained soil. The bulb should be planted with its neck at ground level. It can be grown in a pot. Propagation is by offsets or seed. Snails and slugs should be watched out for, as they may attack the foliage. This plant is very new to me and I received it from a kind iGarden member in February 2013. I will report back once I have had some experience of its progress in my Sydney garden!

Flowers in August, September.