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Sparaxis tricolor, mixed
Harlequin flower, mixed
Type/Hardiness Herbaceous, perennial, bulb, Usually hardy in milder areas
Flowering period Summer
Height 18in/45cm
Light preference Sun
Soil preference Fertile, well drained
Sowing time/depth ,
Originating from South Africa, the harlequin flower is a very showy choice for containers in late Spring. All the flowers, which are not long-lived but appear in succession to provide a long flowering period, have a dark halo around a yellow centre, but the colour of the outside of the petals varies from white to pale pink, and many shades of red and orange. NOTE: Potted bulbs, when offered, are best planted into the ground or in larger containers. At the end of the season it is recommended to carefully split the clump of bulbs and replant further apart (about 2.5 in/7 cm) to give more space for flowering in subsequent years.
Sowing and/or growing instructions
Sow seeds on the surface of a small pot containing a sterile material such as perlite, which should be well moistened with tap water containing a weak feed. Cover with a fine sprinkling of more perlite. Place the pot in a sealed plastic bag in propagator and aim to maintain a temperature of 23-28C/73-83F during the day, a little cooler by night (20-22C/68-72F). The bag can also be placed on a warm window sill or in a greenhouse, but ensure that it is not in constant sunshine as you do not want to stew the seeds! Pot on seedlings as they appear into individual pots and grow on under glass, planting out when all danger of frost is past. Although sparaxis are often hardy in milder areas, it is wise to overwinter them under glass.
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