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Best uses

Great for in containers on a deck or patio, for filling small well-drained gaps on the rockery or just as a border around beds.

Physical characteristics

A lovely little deciduous bulb growing to 0.2m tall and 0.1m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Leaves are slender, dark green and fleshy. In the winter months, 15cm tall spikes of long, tubular, yellow flowers with red tips are produced.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.

Preparation for planting

This little bulb can either be planted as a dry bulb or a potted bulb when in growth. Dig a hole large enough to take the bulbs easily, at a depth of around twice the depth of the bulb, carefully firm in and water. Planting too near the surface for bulbs can often result in them being dug up by hungry birds or animals.

Maintenance tips

Apply an organic mulch annually to help suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Feed annually in spring with a balanced fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square metre in spring as new growth begins. Tidy leaves away once they have died down in summer. Divide clumps of bulbs when dormant in summer or propagate from leaf cuttings in winter. Carefully remove a leaf and cut horizontally into sections, place in a well-drained pumice mix and water in. After a short period, small bulbs will form at the base of each leaf, water every now and then and pot up once the new bulbs are large enough to handle.

Ecological and biodiversity benefits

Attracts insects to the garden.

Pests and diseases

Watch out for slugs and snails and for birds digging up the bulbs.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Rock Garden