Plant of the Month - October 2020

Nerine bowdenii

Nerine bowdenii - K Keeton
Nerine bowdenii
Mediterranean Climate Garden
©K. Keeton

Nerines are South African bulbs from the East Cape Province and the Drakensberg Mountains, growing on cliffs and rocks. Although there are many species, it is only the Nerine bowdenii that is reliably hardy, and only when some consideration is given to the siting when planting. In many books it is advised that they are planted under a warm, south facing wall. However, this is not the case in the Mediterranean Climate Garden (area L on downloadable map), where they are growing extremely well and bulking up, out in the open garden. The beautiful group of brilliant pink flowers cannot be missed as you enter the garden.

The nerines are in the Amaryllidaceae family, closely related to the Amaryllis and crinums, with umbels of smaller funnel flowers, and petals often reflexed. Much hybridization with the tender varieties is being done by enthusiasts, and many hardy varieties may be found.

The name Nerine, originates from the Mediterranean sea nymph Nerine, and the plant was introduced to the UK at the beginning of the 19th century, but it wasn’t until 20th century that it became widely available.

Nerine bowdenii - K Keeton
Nerine bowdenii
Mediterranean Climate Garden
©K. Keeton

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