Download Cape Bulbs: Their Collection, Cultivation and Conservation by Richard L. Doutt PDF

By Richard L. Doutt

The Cape Province of South Africa enjoys a Mediterranean weather just like that of a lot of California, however the unique bulbs local to the sector can, with right care, be grown in harsher & wetter climates. This publication describes the author's favorites, all of which he has effectively grown in his backyard.

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Extra info for Cape Bulbs: Their Collection, Cultivation and Conservation

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When the Cape bulbs are brought indoors, they last best in a cool, bright place. If kept continuously in a very warm house, the flowers will last only a few days. Small pots dry out fast indoors, so the soil moisture should be checked by means of the finger test almost daily. After the flowers fade, the container should be moved outdoors. The small scale of the miniature Cape bulb species is particularly appropriate for the compact spaces often found in courtyards, entries, or raised beds around patios.

The deep, rocky crevices on the koppies in which the bulbs occur can remain cooler and more moist than the open, baking veld. Some botanists believe that a different Cape flora was once widespread in areas that are presently semidesert or desert. As aridity increased in the Cape region, the plants that required summer rain were gradually Page 21 restricted eastward, opening the environment for taxa with a genetic tolerance to summer drought. Axelrod and Raven (1978) suggested that, in effect, a new island habitat was being created within the area of an established vegetation type.

At Kirstenbosch the bulbs are grown either in long, narrow, concrete-walled and sand-filled beds or in containers and pots. All the plants are under a roof shelter of transluscent plastic that keeps out the occasional summer rains. In fact, all the growers I visited in South Africa have the plants under some kind of shelter, usually shade cloth. Shade cloth is also used at the arboretum of the University of California at Irvine, which has a substantial collection of Cape bulbs. The shade cloth may function as a substitute for the shelter that shrubs provide to many bulbs in the veld.

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