It’s that time at my house, time for the Clivia Extravaganza. Behold their unthrifty loveliness!
Thirty plus years ago, when some friends of ours were making a big move and couldn’t bring much along with them, they bequeathed us a single plant– one, they said, that had belonged to his grandmother. Now I have eight plants and counting. They propogate in secret, their tuberous roots tangling and wrangling behind my back until, sproing! A new one appears, a baby among the adults. The leaves are tough and sprout in twos, like leathery rabbit ears. For a long time their flowers, too, would take me by surprise, but by now I know to start peeking around New Year’s for the buds that begin deep in the dark cleft between the leaves. Only once in all these years have they failed to bloom. Not a single flower on any of the plants. It was a general strike, though I’m not sure what they were demanding, and the following year and every year since they’ve appeared in all their tropical gaudiness and always, always, just as winter hits gritty, bleak bottom. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.