I have to confess that I have not come across the Acidanthera before, but apparently I am in good company since very few gardeners seem to have heard of it. This summer flowering bulb is also known by nearly a dozen other names some of which indicate that it is related to the gladiolus family. I discovered this attractive African wildflower in an article by Kath LaLiberte which I found on the Longfield Gardens website.
Acidanthera is a lovely,?summer-blooming bulb?that deserves a place in every flower garden. Curiously, very few gardeners seem to know about it.
Being burdened with an unappealing name doesn?t help. Just ask plants like chionodoxa, crocosmia and lisianthus! And to make matters worse, acidanthera goes?by?nearly a dozen other names, including gladiolus?murielae, gladiolus callianthus, gladiolus acidanthera, Acidanthera murielae, Acidanthera bicolor, Abyssinian gladiolus, peacock gladiolus, fragrant gladiolus, peacock orchid and sword lily.
A Trouble-Free Summer Bulb
Acidanthera is an African wildflower in the gladiolus family. It grows?from small bulbs (corms, actually) that resemble?hazelnuts. Plant?them in the spring and they will bloom?3 months later without?a bit of attention in between.
Though acidanthera?will not survive the winter in growing zones 3-6,?it can be treated?as an annual. Another option is to?dig up the corms in the fall and bring them indoor as you would for gladiolas.
One of the first things to love about Acidanthera is the flowers. They are whiter than white, with a maroon blotch at the base of each petal. Together, the six petals make an irregular star that measures about 3? across.
There?s something ethereal about acidanthera?s blossoms. They seem to float on their almost invisible?stems?and flutter?in the slightest breeze. The sultry perfume?is intense and like many?white flowers, it is?strongest?in the evening.
The blossoms?are complemented by attractive, upright foliage. This makes acidanthera a nice addition to perennial borders. Long, stiff stems make it a must for?cutting gardens.
See more at Longfield Gardens