Spring Starflower

Red Spring Starflower


"Scarce less the cleft-born wildflower seems to enjoy
Existence, than the winged plunderer
That sucks its sweets."

-Willliam Cullen Bryant
(1794-1878)

   

Rhodohypoxis baurii or Spring Starflower has white, pink, & red varieties, 'Rubella' being one of the reddest or deepest magenta of the named cultivars.

A South African alpine wildflower from the Drakensberg Mountains, Rhodohypoxis forms spreading clumps of grassy green foliage only three or four inches tall. Rhodohypoxis's tiny corm produces its diminuitive flower just slightly above slender grassy foliage a scant three inches tall, in a spreading clump. The blooms have six petals, a trio of three arranged atop another trio of three.

The inner petals close up in harsh weather, but the outer petals remain open. When the inner petals are closed, they will obligingly spring open when a pollinating bee is trying to get access.

It's ideal for a full-sun rockgarden. As an indoor plant it blooms late winter & early spring in the windowsill. Out in the garden, here on Puget Sound, it blooms June through August.

It needs regular watering during the growing seasons, but near dry conditions in winte. It wants sharply draining soil & should never be over-watered.

It's intolerant of alkalinity & requires slightly acidic to neutral soil. It may react unfavorably to concrete containers that can leach lime. A lot of peat added to its soil is to its liking.

   



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