General introduction of South African Garden | pictures A | pictures B | map A | map B | plantlist | background information sheets
Description | Origin | Derivation of name | Growing conditions | Where to find in gardens
Description: Dierama is, a evergreen grass-like plant, with incredibly delicate flower stems that gives the plant one of its common names, fairy wand. The slender, arching stalks hold flowers high above the foliage as they constantly wave in the breeze. This plant can be a stunning assed to your garden.
Dierama grows, like gladiolus, from subterranean storage organs, called corms. It makes every year new corms, which are layered above the old once, which can persist for many years and forming together a thick packet. The grass-like leaves are 3 feet tall and the flowers stems with bell-shaped bright purple, pink or white flowers can reach up to 6 feet high.. It flowers late spring or early summer. The fruit is a tough, rounded capsule bearing numerous brown, hard, angular seeds.
Origin: Dierama is native to the cool, grassy flats and mountains slopes of southern Africa, where they prefer spots in full sun on rocky or marshy grounds. It grows in areas with summer rains and dry winters. There are 45 different species and Dierama pendulum, with all its cultivars, is one of the most common.
Derivation of the name: The genus name Dierama comes from the ancient Greek word meaning "funnel" of "like a bell" and it refers to the shape of the flowers. The arching stems and flowers are the base for the most romantic common names, like angel's fishing rod, wedding bells, flowering grass, hairbells, fairy bells and wandflower.
Growing conditions: If you take into consideration where they grow in the wild, you won't be surprised to learn, that they like to grow on sunny spots, but in Redding afternoon shade is a advantage. They prefer a slightly acid, well.composted loam and can cope with both boggy and well-drained conditions. Can you already picture Dierama on raised banks overhanging garden ponds or in rockeries? A real multi talented plant.
The plant withstands light frost and does well during Redding’s winters. It stays here evergreen, but has its resting period in winter. While it likes summer rains, it would be pleased to get regular heavy watering.
Never lift the plant, while the corms are never completely dormant. It should be left undisturbed, in order to grow dense clumps, to produce lots of flowers. When, after five years or more the flowering frequency diminishes, it is time to divide the clumps in spring or propagate new plants from fresh seed.