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Whiteheadia bifolia - Pagoda Lily

Whiteheadia bifolia - Pagoda Lily

£1.10

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Packet of 5 seeds.

A curious member of the Hyacinth family, the Pagoda Lily is a low growing bulbous plant that produces two leaves that are almost succulent in nature and grow parallel to the ground. Closely related to the genus Massonia, the differences are in the inflorescence.

It flowers in the winter after a long dormant spell in the summer (a reaction to the hot and dry conditions experienced in its habitat). The flowers have an unusual scent that is designed to attract the pollinators, which in this case are small beetles, which are drawn in by the sour scent of the flowers. The whole inflorescence resembles that seen in the pineapple lilies, although considerably depressed. The structure has a fanciful resemblance to a Japanese temple, hence the common name .

This species is not overly hardy and is more often than not seen in collections alongside succulents such as Aloes and Mesembs. It is quick and easy from seed and will reliably flower in it's third year. A winter grower, it needs to be sown in autumn/winter and allowed to rest in the summer. 

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