The only Nerine that most of us grow is Nerine bowdenii, the wild species from South Africa. It’s an essential late summer and autumn bulb. And while N. ‘Pink Triumph’ is also grown, together with a few varieties of N. bowdenii, many of those listed in the RHS Plant Finder have relatively few suppliers and are not easy to obtain.
But for some years varieties have been developed in Holland and these are now available to order from Hayloft Plants. The ones that especially caught my eye are N. ‘Charmes’ (below) in pale pink with a rich dark stripe along the centre of each petal, and N. ‘Elegance’, with flowers in an unusually rich red (left).
Also new are N. ‘Bellavida’ (pale pink with dark throat), N. ‘Companion Mr John’ (magenta pink) and N. ‘Favourite’ (slightly purplish pink).
The one issue that is not clear is whether these varieties will be fully hardy. Nick De Rothschild, holder of the Plant Heritage National Collection told me: 'I'm pretty sure they are all cut flower varieties that they grow mainly under glass (in Holland). The Nerine and Amaryllid Society are conducting hardiness trials of as many of these varieties as we can around the UK.'
I’d say that they’re well worth trying in the usual site recommended for Nerine bowdenii: in well-drained soil at the foot of a sunny wall.
You can order Nerine ‘Charmes’ from Hayloft Plants and also order Nerine ‘Elegance’ from Hayloft Plants. And take a look at all the nerines that Hayloft Plants have on offer. But note that delivery is not scheduled until March next year.
** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **