Clivia queen rakes in the prizes

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LOCAL personality and avid gardener Annie de wet Steyn surprised all when he came home with eight first prizes, three second and third prize awards for beautiful Clivia’s she entered in the Eastern Cape Clivia Association, a show held at Sherwood Gardens in Port Elizabeth on September 16.

PRETTY AS A FLOWER: Annie de Wet Steyn proudly stands next to one of her award winning Clivia’s at the recent Eastern Cape Clivia Association shows. She won eight first prizes, three second prizes and three third place prizes

“It meant the world to me; I was walking on air for a week. I had everyone there, children and grandchildren so it was very special, “she said.

Clivia is a type of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are from the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae and common names are Natal lily or bush lily.

They are herbaceous evergreen plants, with green, strap-like leaves. Individual flowers are more or less bell-shaped, occurring in umbels on a stalk above the foliage; colours typically range from yellow through orange to red. Many cultivars exist, some with variegated leaf patterns.

Clivias have been involved in extensive breeding programs throughout the years.  Some of the traits that breeders look for include larger blooms, variegation, different flower colours and even different leaf arrangements.  Some of the hybrids sell for exorbitant prices due to their rarity.

With spring finally here, Steyn is putting all her energy in breeding the beautiful plants and have absorbed the culture of Clivia breeding with full force. Six months ago, Steyn bought 85 000 Clivias from a reputable breeder and being quite new to Clivia’s it’s taken her only this short amount of time to produce top quality, world class Clivias.

“They are the most beautiful flowers, and it was quite significant that I could bring them back to their ancestry.” Steyn said that Clivias were discovered in Port Alfred in 1830 by William Burchell and is still today, a very popular and widely loved plant.

According to Steyn it’s a seven-day-a-week commitment, and at least 12 hours per day of passion and care that goes into Clivia breeding. Clivia’s are one of our more famous plants in South Africa and it has managed to find its way into gardens around the globe.

Steyn is currently growing them in pots and will be exporting to 46 different countries. Steyn said that the Eastern Cape is home to several good breeders and that the general quality of Clivia’s is very good. She looks forward to a trip to Japan and China to learn about their culture surrounding Clivia’s and techniques used by these countries in breeding.

Steyn will be traveling to East London tomorrow for the East London Clivia Show where she will showcase her beauties once more.

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