"Crikey, what are those things?" asked the tradie working around the back of our house. He was pointing towards the quartet of dazzling orange scadoxus in bloom at the rear of our yard. With the low afternoon sun catching their vivid tops, for an hour or so every day it looks they are torches on fire. These flowering bulbs have several common names, including Natal Paintbrush, which tells you where they're from, and Scadoxus puniceus will help you find it in a reference book or online catalogue. Every year I do a blog posting about them, and that's what I am doing again.
|Then when they do unfurl they'll last another two to three|
weeks in this condition, depending on the weather.
|They've bloomed much earlier this year, thanks to the mild|
warm winter we have enjoyed. Usually September is their time.
|The countless hundreds of little pollen tops help to explain why|
the blooms look so afire when the low sun hits them.
|Pollen falls constantly from the blooms, dusting the deep red leaves.|
Well, by happy coincidence it's the same story with these scadoxus; they were a gift from another gardening writer who I worked with, the lovely Geoffrey Burnie, who is now editing Your Garden magazine. Thanks once more, Geoffrey, your scadoxus bulbs are loving life here in the mostly shady (but not always shady), sheltered spot you suggested I plant them.