Acidanthera

So much like the Gladiolus in form and habit and so very unlike the small-flowering bulbs. But they are true autumn-flowering plants, at their best during October. Being natives of Ethiopia, the acidantheras need as much sunlight as possible, a position sheltered from the wind and a soil which is thoroughly well drained. Acidanthera murillae

Peat and leaf mould are not necessary, but they appreciate, like the gladiolus, a quantity of well-rotted manure forked into the soil during March and some coarse sand or grit. Not being true hardy plants, the corms should be lifted during early November as soon as their foliage has died down. About April 1st is the correct time for planting, not before, as the cold earth will not help the corm to grow. Plant the corms 3 in. deep and 6 in. apart, a border or the gladioli bed being most suitable. Where protection from winds can be given there should be no need to stake the stems which reach a height of nearly 3 ft.

SPECIES

Acidanthera murillae. This species bears large, pure, glistening white flowers with an attractive crimson blotch on the petals. They carry a sweet perfume and are excellent as a cut flower. Quite inexpensive to purchase, the corms should be planted in quantity for the cut-flower market, for the blooms last well in water if cut just before fully open. But as the blooms may not open until late autumn their planting should be confined to the south.

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