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Friday, 6 June 2014

Weeping Anthericum (Chlorophytum saundersiae)

Afrikaans : Watergras

Wow! We've experienced the first REAL cold of the season, last night temperatures dropped to 3℃ and this morning the lawn was absolutely white, covered in frost. I feel like covering my garden in one huge frost cover to save the plants!

But here's the thing. Have you ever planted Weeping Anthericum (Chlorophytum saundersiae)? This lovely, but unpretentious, plant flowers as it gets colder and colder. The Weeping Anthirucum is a graceful grass-like plant with mases of starry white flowers on slender stalks above arching green leaves. The flowers are very recognisable as belonging to the Hen & Chicken family although without the little 'chickens' this genus is so famous for. It is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, occurring naturally on forest floors and grasslands. Very easily grown, coping with both sun and shade, dry and damp conditions and is also frost-hardy. this versatility has made it very popular as both garden plant and for mass landscapings.

This plant grows about 40cm high with a spread of 25cm and is a very well-behaved plant, needing little in the way of maintenance. It tends to look a bit untidy towards the end of winter so cut it back and it will soon sprout new green leaves. It seeds itself very easily and the bright green leaves of newly-seeded plants will often be found all over the garden. that's not a problem, simply lift and re-plant where you want them, or bag them and give them to friends! It also grows very easily from seed you can harvest and will flower within a year of being planted.

The Nasturtiums are also still flowering, so even in these coldest of days there's some beauty in the garden and something to be thankful for!


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