Most clivia breeding in New Zealand is done by enthusiastic amateurs, which means plants with commercial potential can be slow to come on to the market, if they make it at all so visiting a clivia show is a good chance to obtain some of the more unusual and interesting flowers.
“It’s great to see more growers getting excited about the potential of clivia,” says Ian Duncalf of Te Puna, himself a plant breeder of some note.
He has several new clivia hybrids flower each year and last year was particularly pleased with his crop of peach-coloured blooms, while this year he is just as excited about a new, red flower – red being the holy grail for clivia breeders.
Ian has been studying it closely and reckons the colour is pretty right, being more red than orange. “It opens more orangey and deepens in colour as it ages,” he says.
Peach, a new colour for clivia, is proving popular with buyers and there are more clivia being bred with green throats.
Ian has noticed that men “often” go for the more vivid-coloured flowers, while women are “a bit more open-minded”.
Read more about clivias at the New Zealand Clivia Club website. These plants are great for dry shade – mass planting under big trees or under eaves. They look good all year with their green strappy leaves and in spring have bright flowers.