Acidanthera has several virtues – its blooms are attractive, highly fragrant and they appear in autumn when most bulbous plants have passed their flowering season. But there is an important drawback – it is a plant of tropical Africa and is half hardy in this country. As a result Acidanthera needs a mild climate and the corms must be lifted before winter frosts arrive. These corms should be stored in a warm and dry place until the spring.

VARIETIES: Just one variety is commonly grown – A. bicolor murielae. The sword-like leaves and star-shaped flowers give it a Gladiolus look. The blooms are about 2 in. wide, each white petal bearing a distinct purple blotch at the base.

SITE AND SOIL: A corm for warm areas – choose a sunny, south-facing site. Any well-drained soil will do.

PLANT DETAILS: Planting time April. Planting depth 4 in.

Spacing: 9 in. Height 3 ft.

Flowering period: September.

PROPAGATION: Remove and plant cormlets in April. Flowering will not take place for several years.

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