Nerine Bowdenii - (Bowden lily)

Nerine Bowdenii
Nerine Bowdenii

Botanical Name: Nerine Bowdenii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Common Names: Bowden lily, Guernsey lily, Bowden Cornish Lily
Foliage: Flowers:
Flowering Period: late summer and autumn

Description

The hardiest form of a group of around 30 autumn flowering bulbs from Southern Africa. A very useful late flowering plant, where its open clusters of pink, trumpet-shaped, flowers provide a splash of late colour in the autumn border. However, to really succeed in UK gardens it needs to be grown in full sun and under the shelter of a wall. In colder areas they can be grown in deep pots and containers and over-wintered in a frost free location.

Characteristics

  • Habit: tufted.
  • Leaves: deciduous, mid-green, narrow strap shaped, glossy leaves.
  • Flowers: tall firm stems bearing an open cluster of pink to deep rose flowers, with a waxy orchid like texture. White forms are also available.
  • Height to: 2ft 60 cm
  • Type: bulbous perennial
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Aspect: full sun in a warm sheltered site.
  • Hardiness: not fully hardy in the UK.
  • Soil Requirements: any reasonable, moist but free draining garden soil (sandy, loam, chalk or clay). Alkaline or neutral pH. Will tollerate poor soils.

Planting Context

Suitable for naturalising in milder areas of the UK, if planted in a warm sheltered possition.

Planting Nerine Bowdenii

Plant the bulbs outside, at a depth of 2in (5cm) and 6in (15cm) apart, in early to mid spring. Plant in a free draining, moderately fertility soil. Ideally they should be located near a warm sheltered wall.

Aftercare

Water thoroughly during dry weather until well established. Stop watering once the leaves start to turn yellow. Mulch with organic matter in early spring and add a general fertilizer such as bonemeal. For best flowering results the bulbs should be left undisturbed.

Propagation

Sow seeds in the spring in a sandy well drained soil. Seedlings can take over 3 years to reach flowering size.

The mature bulbs are best left undisturbed, however, if they become overcrowded they can be lifted and divided in the Spring.

Popular Varieties

pink nerine flowers

Nerine bowdenii Collection

Nerine bowdenii the main form, has open clusters of pink, trumpet-shaped, flowers on tall firm stems. Height to 18in (45cm), spread 3in (8cm). Available at You Garden. Many hybrids of this species have been created, including:

Nerine bowdenii 'Alba' a crisp white version with starry flowers. Height to 18in (45cm), spread 3in (8cm). Available at Thompson & Morgan.
Nerine bowdenii 'Isabel' has dark pink flowers. Height to 18in (45cm), spread 3in (8cm). Available at Thompson & Morgan.
Nerine bowdenii 'Mister John' is a taller bright magenta form with up to 10 lily-like blooms per stem. Height: 2ft (60cm), spread: 14in (35cm). Available at Thompson & Morgan.
Nerine bowdenii 'Mark Fenwick' is a taller and more vigorous form with deeper pink flowers.
Nerine bowdenii 'Pink' is a magenta-pink version with funnel-shaped flowers. Height to 18in (45cm), spread 3in (8cm). Available at Thompson & Morgan.
Nerine bowdenii 'Stefani' has white and shell-pink bi-coloured flowers with a lovely spicy fragrance. Height to 18in (45cm), spread 3in (8cm). Available at Thompson & Morgan.