DIERAMA 'AUTUMN SPARKLER'
Stiff upright wands sport close-packed clusters of brightest fluorescent pink, upwards-facing and not drooping, bells. It is the last, and the most unusual, of all dieramas to flower, giving colour right into October and November when all others have long finished. The photo here was taken in early November in our garden! The erect stems and open flowers of this extremely unique and desirable introduction give this plant more of an ixia-like appearance than any other dierama. It is a very rare plant recorded from only one small locality in Ngome east of Vryheid in montane South Africa. Along with the unusually marked 'eyes' at the petal bases, and its solid clumped habit, it is mooted that this gem may be the most primitive of all dierama species.
Sow at any time 5mm deep in a warm spot outside or in a propagator at between 15 and 20 degrees C. Germination takes from one to three months. Grow on individual grass-like seedlings in small pots. Keep frost-free and moist the first winter as dieramas are essentially evergreen plants, and must not be dried out, and should be kept growing when young. Plant out young plants the following spring. Dieramas can be promiscuous, pollinating easily with other species and varieties. These seeds may produce some flower colours differing from the parent plants.
Common name:DIERAMA ERECTUM