Exbury Gardens planning extended season for Lachenalias as interest in the plant surges

The l. rosea variety will be on show at Exbury in 2014
The l. rosea variety will be on show at Exbury in 2014

The gardens' annual exhibition of Lachenalias, or Leopard Lily will be extended for another week this year as interest in the South African bulb continues to rise.

Grower Theo Herselmann is showing the Lachenalias in a ‘Bushveld’ setting with other South African plants – creating "a bit of South Africa on the south coast."

Plans to display them in The Exbury Lachenalia Collection continue to expand, with visits to South Africa and collection of seed showing positive results some five years after planting.

All the Lachenalias displayed at the exhibition will be fully labelled, with visitors able to order bulbs they take a liking to. 

Gardens president Nicholas de Rothschild and overseer of Exbury’s collection said: "The Lachenalis represent one of the fastest-growing collector plants in the country. The Genus is full of interest, with 133 and counting species offering a variety of colour during the dull winter months.

"Their size makes them the ideal plant for a kitchen pot, windowsill or conservatory, and they have an exceptionally long flowering season. Our first Lachenalias will traditionally flower in October, and the last as late as May."

Herselmann said the extra week would allow him to display later flowering varieties not previously shown to the public: "Extending the season into April gives the exhibition an extra dimension. Visitors will be able to appreciate the colour and form of ‘l. rosea’ for example, which is amongst my favourite Lachenalias.

"After a dry summer 2013 and a late autumn, we have experienced a very wet and mild winter – indications are that flowering will be excellent."


Exbury Gardens, and the Lachenalias show, opens on March 15.

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