Acidanthera flower

Elegant and Exotic: Acidanthera murielae

At this stage of the summer, there are not very many flowers left in the garden for me to photograph. But there’s one that’s in flower right now that I have wanted to photograph for some time.

I have been able to photograph Acidanthera murielae in a garden I visited, but I really wanted the chance to try it again in my own garden.

If you’re garden-visiting, you can’t tidy up the plant by removing the spent flower-heads before you take your photograph. And there’s a limit to how long you can spend as you wait for the flower heads to stop swaying in every slight breeze.

It’s so much easier to wait for a calm period in your own garden.

Acidanthera flowers sway easily because they’re held in groups on graceful three-foot high stems. With their tall, iris-like leaves, the plants make a very elegant sight that is both a treat to photograph and a star attraction for a late-summer border.

I just have a few of the flowers in a pot this year. Next year I’ll plant more of the bulbs in the garden, but I’ll have to remember to store them inside over winter because these East African bulbs aren’t very hardy. (Even better would be to just buy some new corms every spring – they’re not expensive.)

Acidanthera (also known as callianthus or Abyssinian gladiolus) are sun-lovers for a well-drained soil. They’re easy to grow and can create a spectacular show at this time of year.

Now I just hope they’ll sit still for a little while so that I can take some more photographs!

Flowers of Acidanthera murielae
I’m delighted to have acidanthera growing in my own garden at last!

18 thoughts on “Elegant and Exotic: Acidanthera murielae

    1. Yes, Syd, I think they would be ideal for your yard. They grow about 3 ft high – sometimes taller and like good drainage. And they are very pretty! 🙂


      1. I have a couple areas I could put them in. So many plants do not like the bright sun so it is hard to find ones that tolerate it. Now I wonder if the deer like to eat them – that is always a problem around here. ……

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I suppose the deer could be a problem – maybe you need a wind-chime or something that makes unexpected noises! (Imagination is taking over on that one…hehe!)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I keep forgetting how hard it is to grow really pretty flowers here. If the deer do not eat them, the rabbits will eat the short ones. Always a battle since I like the wildlife.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That must be incredibly frustrating! Acidanthera can grow happily in pots, but you’d need somewhere that was difficult for the rabbits to reach. (I’m assuming that you could set pots close enough to the house that the deer would be put off.)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liz! Next year I’d like to grow them mixed in with maroon scabious – dainty little buttons of flower on very long stems – and white gaura, which looks like a cloud of tiny butterflies and has the odd tinge of dark red too. Just need to make some space!

      Liked by 1 person

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