Plant Description

Nerine bowdenii

Nerine bowdenii

Nerine bowdenii (ht 45cm) is a beautiful South African bulb which is in flower around May, June and even into July in my garden. It has long spidery petals of a lovely sugary pink, combined with graceful stamens. It is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family, whose bulbs generally do well in our Sydney climate. Like most of this family, the Nerine should be planted with the top of the bulb at surface level in a sunny, well-drained position which is relatively dry in summer when the bulbs are dormant: mine are right underneath a silver birch tree which takes all the available moisture in the warmer months.

These bulbs dislike division so I just leave them alone until they are very congested. This species is probably the best one to try to grow in Sydney. The exquisite white Nerine flexuosa 'Alba', does not do well in Sydney, as it seems to require a particular drop in temperature at a critical time for bud formation, and in general wants cooler, shadier conditions than other types. Nerine bulbs are unfortunately subject to attack by the dreaded lily borer caterpillar: keep a look out for these and destroy them or pour a diluted mixture of Yates Success or Eco Neem over them. Lily borers can actually kill the bulbs if not tackled early on. Nerine make excellent cut flowers.


Nerine bowdenii
Suitable for Cut Flowers.
Flowers from May to July.
Plant Family: Amaryllidaceae