Heritage Plants - the Clivea

This is a really useful plant for shaded areas. With its broad, dark green leaf and orange/scarlet flower, it can cross garden styles as well. It sits very comfortably with Camellias in a more traditional garden but is equally happy around the base of a palm tree in a tropical style garden.

Originally named after the Duchess of Northumberland, a member of the Clive family, it is originally from South Africa. And like most plants from South Africa, is very hardy indeed.

It can tolerate a wide range of soils, really only heavy clays will defeat it. The other gremlins that will test it are the black and yellow Lily Caterpillar and snails. This explains the missing bits of leaves you might occasionally see.

There is a great hybrid Clivea, the Belgian Hybrid, which I must admit I love. It has broader leaves and fantastic fists of flowers.

Cliveas look great in drifts, in rows along paths and in generous sized pots where, clumped together, they seem to flower even better.

And if you want more, they are very easy to divide - after flowering is best. This is a great set and forget plant, especially in shady areas where its spectacular flower will brighten that difficult spot in your garden.


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