Daily Archives: January 4, 2015

Clivia has a berry

My pride and joy, my kaffir lily, Clivia, has a berry! A potential seed! I have been watching her swollen little ovary since June, when she flowered, to see if a little fruit would develop. It is turning red, and is almost ready to pick.

Clivia has lived with me since 1969, when I purchased her for 10¢ at a church rummage sale in Frankford, Philadelphia. She was just a few strappy little leaves in a tiny pot. Her scientific name is Clivia miniata, from the plant family Amaryllidaceae. Common names include kaffir lily, forest lily, and bush lily. Clivias are native to the moist, shady forest floors of Southern Africa.

She is always producing baby plants, little daughter plants called offsets, which develop from the roots of the mother plant. These are clones of the mother plant. My clivia has had about 20 offsets over the years. Every now and then one of the flowers gets pollinated and a little berry grows, but so far I have not successfully obtained a seed.

Longwood Gardens has an impressive collection of clivias. They started breeding Clivias in 1976 in an attempt to create a spectacular yellow-flowered plant. They successfully accomplished their goal; in 2011 they debuted Clivia miniata ‘Longwood Debutante’ and in 2012 they released their latest yellow flowering plant- Clivia miniata ‘Longwood Fireworks’. You can find them at: http://longwoodgardens.org/gardens/about-our-plants/production/signature-plants/clivia.

Do you have any very special houseplants? Let me know in the comment section.

I will let you know how I make out with Clivia’s berry in the months to come.