Sunday, June 03, 2007

terrestrial orchids companion plants for aloes
The small terrestrial orchid Pterygodium.volucris can grow happy in the same conditions as the aloes in the garden. The name orchid usually goes with pretty or very odd flowers, but not in the case of this small orchid. The flowers are so plain and the same colour as the leaves so that it is easy to overlook them. The plants are neat and they grow very easy.  Pterygodium volucris is from the winter rainfall area so it needs rest in summer and water in winter. It can remain in the ground in a dry climate.
The orchids grow next to the Paintbrush lily Haemanthus coccinius (The two large leaves in photo ) which bloomed a few weeks ago. 

 The Paintbrush lily sends out the flower first( photo below), then the leaves. The leaves measure, each 39 cm long and 17 cm wide. In inches that is roughly 16 inches long and 7 inches wide. I measured them.

The little blue aloe in the top photo is a hybrid growing without any attention. I would have liked to ask it to make an offshoot or two, but it seems that is not going to happen.
The winter rain has started and the dry patches between the aloes are turning green - soon there will be flowers all over. For now we enjoy the green and the anticipation.

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