Tried and True: Lachenalia aloides

Lachenalia aloides

Lachenalia aloides

• The easiest lachenalia to grow.
• Widely available, from many other gardeners if not from every garden centre.
• Bright winter colour.
• Often sold as Lachenalia Pearsonii.

In the gloom of winter when the main colour comes from pink camellias, the early flowering lachenalias ring a colour change to orange and red. Whether you consider this form of aloides to be garish or cheerful depends on your personal taste. It is the most common lachenalia in New Zealand and is often referred to as Pearsonii. It has two strappy leaves per bulb, usually with burgundy spots. These are South African bulbs which thrive in areas which have winter rainfall although even the toughest aloides will not want to be out in hard frosts. Lachenalias have a long dormancy period so are easy to lift and divide.

Try underplanting citrus trees to repeat the colour, or we find it also combines well with the green, mounding hillocks of our native scleranthus biflorus. It will combine equally well with any predominantly green scene to add a bright spot.