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Melasphaerula ramosa - Dainty Fairy Bells

Melasphaerula ramosa - Dainty Fairy Bells


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Packet of 5 seeds of this member of the Iris family.

This is a fairly common species from the winter rainfall area of South Africa, making it winter/spring flowering. The flowers are numerous and borne on arching stems. Individually beautiful, when a group is in flower the effect is stunning. When out of flower the plant is still quite striking with its narrow, sword-like leaves giving it the look of an ornamental grass .

Easily cultivated, it flowers in the summer and requires a drier dormant period from late autumn through to the following spring. Unlike gladiolus which can be lifted, the corms never truly go dormant and they will quickly dry out and die if lifted and stored without soil. Better then to grow them in pots, sunk into the garden and then to lift the whole pot and store it in a dry-ish location for the winter months, where protection from the extremes of the weather can be provided. Alternatively grow in a well drained sheltered location, giving some overhead protection will also help.

This species is ideal for an alpine bed, where protection from winter rains can be provided. Otherwise it can be grown in an alpine house where overhead protection is inherent in the structure enabling the plant to thrive. It may also be grown in an open potting mixture in pots and containers . Not overly hardy, it is not likely to respond well to soil temperatures below - 5 Deg C. Quick and easy from seed, this may flower in the third year from seed. It will self seed where happy and will quickly fill areas as the years progress.

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