By Sean Chubb / Des Andersson
As published in Clivia Three 1999
Having an interest in Clivia is similar to the expectations of the treasure hunters still seeking the Kruger Millions! We are looking for a pure white. Sean and I were invited to the Howick area to view a Clivia that had a different colour to the usual orange. We were in for a real surprise when we saw the flower. The colour was in the range of peach to apricot (Kol skoot! Bulls eye! – something new). The owner Gail told us she had found one plant on a newly rented property. She subsequently realized it was a Clivia. With care and attention, the plant duly flowered, suckered side shoots and self pollinated. In time, the seedlings also flowered true to type. With just one clone on the property, there was only a very remote possibility for colour pollination hybridization.
Observation: The base of the adult plant is oval, approximately 150mm on the larger axis. Outer overall height is 650mm. The leaf tips are much less pointed than either the ‘Natal Yellow’ or ‘Mare’s Howick Yellow’ with a very slight edge roughness at the end. The Clivia miniata ‘Gail’ was runner up selection on the 1999 Kwa-Zulu Natal Clivia Club Show.
‘NDWEDWE GAMMA PEACH’
This plant was found in the Ndwedwe area of Kwa-Zulu Natal on 26 September 1996. It was growing near the top of a very steep south facing cliff in the rock-face in very little soil and leaf compost.
It is spidery in appearance. The bloom opens a peach shade, slightly green down the center initially, loosing the green with age, darkening to peach in the center of the petals, with the edges turning a whitish colour towards the end of flowering period. There were two plants of similar size each with one bloom. The plant did not set seed, the first season. There is plenty of pollen and the breeding parts are of good quality. The leaves are large and the plant is robust in appearance. No offsets have been produced to date.
The breeding performance of this plant is uncertain, as so far it has only produced pigmented seedlings. Pollen for ‘Chubb Peach’, ‘Alpha Thurston’ and ‘Beta Thurston’ has been used on it and it was also self pollinated. A good seed crop was set with each crossing. It did not flower in 1999 but it had the usual two blooms in 2000. It has been crossed with pollen from ‘Ndigi Pink Champagne’ and ‘Panache 2000’ which are two pastel/pinks from the Ndwedwe area. It is thought to be an Orange showing peachy colourations.
The original plant was collected in the Ngwahumbe
River Valley, in Eston, Kwa-Zulu Natal. It was found in a small patch of bush on the confluence of one of the tributaries and the Ngwahumbe River. The exact date of collection has not been accurately recorded but it was probably in the 1950’s. No other plants of any colour variation have been collected from this area since. The Clivia population density in this area has also declined due to collection of plants by traditional healers.
‘Chubb Peach’ forms a well filled spherical umbel presented well above the foliage. The flowers are a deep peach colour with a distinct fragrance. Petals and tepals have slightly wavy edges and have a slight difference in width. The peach colour seems to intensify as the florets age. On ripening the seedpods turn a rich peach caramel colour. ‘Chubb Peach’ does produce offsets and mature plants may produce 2 or 3 per annum.
The initial breeding efforts with ‘Chubb Peach’ were not as successful as hoped. On realizing that this plant was peach in colour and not being able to locate plants of a similar colour at the time, ‘Chubb Peach’ was self pollinated.
On average only 7 seeds were set per umbel flowered. These seed produced 30% peach flowering plants. This % was confusing and did not seem to conform to known genetic heritability patterns. In 1987 when the first peach flowering offspring flowered, this was used to cross back onto the original ‘Chubb Peach’ clone, producing 100% peach offspring. This cross also had a remarkable improvement in seed set, on average 132 seed per umbel from 13 umbels. The orange flowering offspring were kept and crossed back with the original clone producing 50% peach flowering offspring.
These percentages conform to known genetic heritability patterns and it was confirmed that ‘Chubb Peach’ is in fact a homozygous recessive peach, group 1 peach. The original percentages recovered from self pollinating have been put down to foreign pollen producing the orange flowering plants and the low seed counts to the reluctance of ‘Chubb Peach’ to self pollinate. ‘Chubb Peach’ has also been crossed with group 1 or homozygous yellows producing 100% unpigmented seedlings with subsequently flower peach. ‘Chubb Peach is dominant over yellow but recessive to orange and red.
Since the first peach flowering in 1987 only the best of each years seedlings have been retained for breeding purposes. Up until 1999 flowering season only 5 plants have been used as pollen donors. The original selected plants have also been improved on and in 2000 only the very best, i.e. 2 plants, were used as pollen donors on the peach mother plants.
The intensity of peach pigment in the offspring seems to vary and some seedlings flower considerably darker that the original clone. Seedlings carrying green markings in the throat of the flowers seem to be the darkest peach.
A limited number of original clone offsets, flowering seedlings and seed, are made available for sale annually.
This magnificent plant belonging to Olive and Stoffel Naude came to the notice of Clivia enthusiasts in 1997 when it was entered in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Clivia Show.
Here it won the best ‘any other colour’ as well as Best on Show. It had at that time two umbels presented well above the foliage. The mature umbel was deep peach while the umbel still in the opening stage was buttercup yellow.
Mrs Olive Naude, on moving to Kloof, was very impressed by the display of both yellow and orange Clivia miniata in the neighbour’s garden. The neighbour had a large number of yellows flowering in her garden and on her death, a single plant was obtained from the collection. Subsequent renovations to the property denuded the garden of Clivia. This single plant was carefully planted in a large concrete pot in about 1977. Here it remained on Mrs Naude’s verandah producing two spikes of flowers every year, but never an offset. The plant remained in this pot for approximately 20 years. When repotted into a more practical container, it rotted leaving only 2 offsets.
The genetic make-up of ‘Naude Peach’ has not been accurately defined. The plant flowers open yellow, mature to peach and then produce red berries when the seeds ripen. Some results that do seem confusing have been obtained using ‘Naude Peach’.
‘Naude Peach’ has not flowered since 1997 and an endeavour to do controlled crosses with it will be made as soon as it does flower.