Blood Drops’ - image: Plant World Seeds
What the Specialists Say
Ray Brown, owner, Plant World Seeds, Devon
"We love Dieramas here at Plant World – we sell nearly 30 varieties here and have developed new forms. I personally think that Dieramas are vastly underrated with a host of fine qualities.
"We wholeheartedly promote the growing of Dierama as their pendulous habit, good colour range, movement in wind and self-seeding habit all contribute to worthwhile garden plants. We find that they do not overwinter well outside in pots as the brittle roots are damaged by frost, so we keep our young plants under cover over winter and keep them on the dry side.
D. erectum - image: Plant World Seeds
Dan Leighton, garden designer and plantsman, Dan Leighton Gardens, Devon
"I have a client with a stunning collection of them in his garden. He finds they are best grown as free-standing plants, with nothing, or low-growing plants around them, so as not to interfere with the flowers.
I have the painstaking task of removing the dead foliage in late spring, it has to be done with a pair of scissors as pulling or ripping brings out the growing points, roots and all. In their native South Africa this job is done by wild fires. He won’t let me burn his plants, but I reckon it’s worth a try.
Species and varieties
- D. ambiguum is a newly introduced, medium-sized hardy species from South Africa. The rich pink, hanging, bell-shaped, flowers are carried in mid- to late summer on wiry, arching stems.
- Height: 80cm.
- D. argyreum is a rare, smallish species from the African mountains displaying ivory white, pendulous flowers which, uniquely, open from pale sulphur yellow buds; a new colour-break in this genus. This choice plant will grow best in well-drained rich soil in a sheltered spot. Height: 90cm.
- D. ‘Guinevere’ is a clump-forming perennial with long narrow leaves. In summer it produces arching stems with nodding, cool-white flowers with a slight pink-purple tinge. Height: 1m.
- D. pulcherrimum, or the Angel’s Fishing Rod, is a graceful, evergreen perennial with tall, arching stems bearing nodding, bell-shaped, rosy-purple (occasionally pale pink or white) flowers in summer. The flowers hang on thin pedicels. Height: 1.5m.
- D. pulcherrimum var. album is the elegant, white flowered form.
- D. pulcherrimum ‘Blackbird’ is an evergreen perennial with tall, strap-shaped leaves and large, deep red-purple, bell-shaped flowers carried in sprays on fine, arching stems. Height: 1-1.3m.
- D. pendulum has arching flower stems bearing drooping panicles of flaring, bell-shaped pink flowers with papery brown bracts. A less substantial plant than D. pulcherrimum. Height 50cm-1m.
- D. pauciflorum is a hardy, dwarf species which produces dense clumps of short, stubby stems and bears reddish-pink flower bells which look out or upwards, instead of being pendulous. They bloom in spring. Height: 30-40cm.
- D. dracomontanum makes compact clumps of grassy foliage, above which are borne disproportionately large rose-pink or coral-pink trumpet flowers on densely-packed delicate arching stems in summer. Height: 60cm.
- D. ‘Blackberry Bells’ is a vigorous hybrid which was bred by Plant World Seeds, between ‘Cosmos’ and D. robustum, inheriting some of the darkness from the former flower, but with much larger, deep purple-maroon flared trumpets on very tall, strong springy stems. It comes almost 100 per cent true from seed. Height: 1-1.3m.
- D. igneum is a hardy species that has a compact habit and is quick to clump up. Produces tomato-red flared flowers in summer. Height: 30-80cm.
- D. ‘Autumn Sparkler’ (syn.D. erectum) is the last of the Dierama to flower into October and November, and the most unusual. It has upright stiff stems and open lilac-pink flowers . It has unusually marked ‘eyes’ at the petal bases. Height: 1 to 1.3m.
- D. ‘Spring Dancer’ is the earliest of the Dierama to flower, in April and May. Flared pink trumpets are borne on thin stems, which are out-facing rather than pendulous. Height: 90cm-1.2m. n