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Guernsey Lily

Nerine sarniensis

Jersey lily, Narcissus of Japan, Spider lily

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Native to South Africa the Nerine is widely cultivated in the temperate world, and is particularly associated with the island of Guernsey, although it is not originally from there. With its spectacular, glittering blooms these unique flowers are quite unmistakable. As it naturally occurs in South Africa in winter rainfall regions the flowers emerge in early autumn when most other flowers ceases to bloom and become dormant. It should be noted by all gardeners that this ornamental plant which is easy to grow is however notorious for erratic flowering behavior.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest seeds in Autumn. Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible. Flowers are good for cutting, and last very long once cut.

Propagation

Seed
Seeds are sown as soon as they are easily detached from the capsules, in a sandy medium. Sowing time is in Autumn. Space 25cm apart and sow 2-4mm deep.
Division
Bulb division after flowering. Leave them undisturbed until the plants become crowded and produce fewer flower stems. Lift, divide and replant the clumps, generally every four or five years.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Insects such as the Mountain pride butterfly, Meneris tulbaghia.
Pot plant
It is an ideal subject for shallow containers if planted in a well-draining medium and the container has enough drainage holes.
Drought resistant
Relatively drought tolerant once well-established, no water must be received during its dormant period in summer.

Geography

Origin
Southern Africa, South Africa, Western Cape.
Natural climate
Mediterranean (winter rainfall)

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Notes
A decorative and colourful pot plant.

Personality

Family
Amaryllidaceae
Flower colour
Red, scarlet, pink and a rare white variety.
Scent
None

Problems

Pests include lily borer caterpillars, and slugs. Generally disease free.

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