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Dierama pulcherrimum

Dierama pulcherrimum
Dierama pulcherrimum

The South African “angel's fishing rod” or “fairy wand” is a plant I photograph every year. I've yet to take a photograph I'm entirely happy with, because a two-dimensional representation of this plant in an image pales in comparison to witnessing it in person. To my mind, Dierama pulcherrimum is about movement – it dances in the slightest breeze. The effect of a hundred plants doing so at one time in UBC's alpine garden is enchanting. I can only imagine that a grassland with thousands of plants is magical (see “Dierama pulcherrimum massed on Gaikas Kop east face.jpg” on this page).

Botany resource link: If I was living in Florida, I know where I'd be visiting on July 8/9 this year: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (and its annual mango festival). The Fairchild BG web site is content rich, with quite a few articles to read if you are interested in tropical plants. To add to my small weblog interview from a few days ago, I see Fairchild is taking the first few steps into weblogging.

11 Comments

Beautiful pictures!

Dierama pulcherrimum - Z7 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths

I like these photos ... but have never had the pleasure of seeing this plant in real life. Your pics give my imagination something to imagine, Daniel. The grasses, the blurriness in the second photo conveys "Fairy Wand's" motion --dancing -- quite well, IMHO.

Great photos! Lovely plant, Love to have it in my garden.

I can't believe you mentioned Fairchild!! I just downloaded the botany photo of the day widget to my computer this past weekend and have looked through all the archived photos as well as waited eagerly for each new daily photo. I would soon like to submit but wasn't sure if tropicals are of interest. I live in Florida and I am a curator at Fairchild. I have plenty of tropical botany photos to share, as well as info on tropicals.

If anyone is in the area, please do come visit Fairchild!

BTW, I would like to know, how is possible that you are growing Dierama in an alpine garden if it comes from South Africa? I am thinking it could make a nice addition to Fairchild, if it fits the climate.

Thanks!

Heather

Thank you all!

Hi Heather. Tropicals are absolutely of interest – that's one of the flaws of BPotD is that is so temperate-centric when the world's biodiversity is overwhelmingly in the tropics.

Our alpine garden has plants from every continent in the world (except Antarctica). The definition of alpine is fairly broad - if you visit that site with the photo of the plants in habitat, though, you'll note it grows in grasslands beside rocky hills.

Hi Heather. I manage the alpine garden here at UBCBG. The definition of alpine that I employ is "montane". For the broad sweep of this garden's design (it has an 'Africa' section, a 'South America' section, 'Asia Minor' and so on) it makes sense. It obviously takes in important mountain features such as the Alps of Europe, but also low mountains and those not alpine in the strict sense - what a boring garden that would be! So in South Africa's case, I refer to the Drakensberg mountains of that country and Lesotho where most Dierama species are found, but also to the numerous smaller mountain ranges (Amatola, Cedarberg etc) in the western Cape. As you're no doubt aware, these are also home to "alpine" (in this broad sense) treasures almost untold.

Thanks for the help! I have a fairy wand in my front yard... (Seattle, Wa) for years...and could not remember the name to save my life! Thanks to the FLORA CD, I managed to find Dierama...leading to google searches to confirm my plant! I LOVE this plant...it is in full bloom right now...and your are right...pictures don't do it justice. It is a must see with the naked eye.

I am a renter (Eureka, Calif.) and last summer experienced a Dierama in my new garden for the first time - this summer's bloom was even more spectacular and I had longer to enjoy it, but I didn't know what it was until just yesterday. When I described it to people, I called it fairy hats - funny that I got so close to the actual common name.

I visited a garden in the ngs open gardens scheme yesterday in Staffordshire and I saw one of these plants in situ. It measured 4 feet in height and its circumference was 6 feet. It was truly magical and I asked its name. It is definitely a plant I shall buy and nurture. Thanks for your beautiful picture of it.

We moved to a village in Staffs on a hill with clay soil.A neighbour 200 yards away has a great clump of dierama and my wife, who is American fell in love with them. Today we were able to buy 2 pots at a nearby garden center and are keeping our fingers crossed that they will survive. I saw a huge bed of these framed against a stone wall in a Botanic garden near Cardiff 20 years ago. They look well against a plain background. It's a coincidence that another lady writing to you this July also saw a clump in Staffs. Thank you for the pictures.

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