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Clivia caulescens

   (Family: Amaryllidaceae)
Afrikaans: Boslelie English: Bush lily  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 0.5 - 2m
Spread: 0.3 - 0.4m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (light)
  Frost Tolerant (heavy)
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred altitude: 15000m
Preferred position:
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily),
Clay (fine texture, holds a lot of water),
Loam (gritty, moist, and retains water easily)
pH: neutral
Biome: Forest
Flowering time EDIT
                  x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower shape
Flower type
Leaf margin
Leaf type
Leaf texture Smooth
Leaf size 400 - 900mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are dark green
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
  Seed info EDIT
  The light yellow to almost purple berries vary from round to oblong and ripen after nine months
Description EDIT
A bulbous plant with dark green leaves and clusters of orange / cream pendulous flowers.
Growing EDIT
Clivia caulescens occurs in forests in leaf mould, in leaf mould on rocks, even on old decaying tree stumps or on the branches of trees. Populations at altitudes of 1 500 m are subject to mist, snow and extreme cold conditions. Like all clivia species, C. caulescens is a long-lived plant and can survive indefinitely under ideal conditions which consist of light shade, a well-drained growing medium, cool conditions ranging from 3ºC-28ºC, and adequate moisture.

Although a mature plant of this species will survive frost, all the leaves will be burnt and the plant will take a couple of years to recover.

In cultivation, Clivia caulescens requires a frost-free area with light shade, a well-drained growing medium, cool conditions and not a great deal of water.

An annual application of a 100 mm layer of compost plus an organic fertilizer will keep the clivia in good condition.

Propagation from seed requires harvesting the seed nine months after flowering. Remove the soft covering tissue and sow the fresh seed in a growing medium of matured pine bark at a depth which just covers the seed. A 15 cm pot is ideal for sowing the seed which must be kept moist and in the shade. Once the leaves of the seedlings are 50 mm long they can be pricked out into a 15 cm pot (3 seedlings per pot ) and left to grow on for a year. Regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer is essential for good growth.

After a year, repot the seedlings into individual 20 cm pots where they should flower 3 to 4 years from sowing. The other method of propagation is by dividing the large plant. Firstly remove all of the growing medium from the roots. The numerous suckers which have developed can now be carefully separated from the main plant. They can either be planted in a pot or directly into the garden. They should flower the following year. Division can be done at any time of the year except when the plant is in flower.
Distribution EDIT
Fairly common in the Mpumalanga and northern provinces, occurring at Sabie, Mount Sheba, God`s Window and as far north as the Soutpansberg.
History EDIT
Makes a good potplant.
Ecology EDIT
The populations of Clivia caulescens occur in isolated pockets today as the forests of Africa have shrunk through time. Little is known about the pollinating agents of Clivia, although it is thought that the pendulous species, with their large number of flowers, are self-pollinating as well as bird-pollinated, as they produce nectar which would attract birds and insects. The seed has been seen to be transported by samango and vervet monkeys as well as by the Knysna Loerie and other birds. Rodents are also responsible for distributing the seed. Mice as well as rats consume the soft tissue which covers the seed and they then leave the seed to germinate once they have finished their meal.
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