Found on mountain slopes, and flats of sand or clay in the south west Cape, this brightly-coloured gem opens its flowers, above a single linear leaf, in the afternoon from July until September. Although the orange flowers (rarely yellow) resemble tulips, they are in fact members of the iris family. These quite exceptional plants, which will self-seed and naturalise happily in warmer and drier climates, only came into cultivation in the 1990's.
Sow seeds at any time covering them very thinly with compost or grit, and leaving some of the seed showing, as light can initiate germination, just as in the wild, and leave in a well-lit, warm spot. Sometimes, artificial heat may not be needed, and may prevent germination, as some species will only germinate in the spring after being chilled in the moist seed tray. Grow on in sharply draining compost in a pot, or the open ground.
Common name:Cape Tulip
Classification:Half hardy bulb, Hardy bulb, Half hardy perennial
Packet Content:30+ (Approx)