Watsonia x “Wedding Bells” – Cape Bugle-Lily
Tall spikes of soft pink tubular flowers last for several weeks in spring.
This is a herbaceous perennial with flower spikes that rise to about 1.2m, above upright fans of sword shaped leaves grow to about 80cm from a corm. Though deciduous, the new leaves start to grow so soon after the flowers have faded that it is actually green year-round.
“Wedding Bells” is probably a hybrid of W. borbonica and W. aletroides, which are both native of the extreme southwest of the Western Cape in South Africa. Their habitat is mainly rocky sandstone slopes or well-drained slopes of clay and granite, and sometimes in deep sandy soil at the foot of the mountains.
Soil / Aspect:
Requires well drained soil and tolerates winter rain. Strictly speaking this plant is half-hardy, but it is perfectly happy to be left in the ground over winter in coastal areas of Tasman. Will tolerate a range of soil types and pH. Best in full sun. The picture above was taken on the water-front in Motueka, so you can see that it is perfectly happy [very] close to the sea.
Generally pest and disease free. Cut out the flower stems once the flowers have all faded. To avoid overcrowding and to get the most flowers, clumps are best lifted and divided every three to five years, when offset corms can be harvested to produce new plants.