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Common Name: Lady's Hand
Cyanella orchidiformis is a Bulb up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
S. Africa - southern Namibia to Clanwilliam.
Rocky flats to lower and middle slopes, often in wet sites[
Prefers a light sandy soil. Requires a very warm sunny position in a well-drained soil, it is best grown at the foot of a south-facing wall or in a south-facing bed.
Plants are not very frost hardy, but they can be grown outdoors in the milder areas of the country if given a good mulch[
]. Plant the bulbs 15cm deep in autumn to flower in spring or in the spring to flower in the summer[
]. Lift the bulbs when they die down, dry them and store in a cool place until it is time to replant[
Flowers are produced in 3 - 4 years from seed[
Bulb - cooked[
Seed - sow the seed thinly in the autumn in a greenhouse so that it will not be necessary to thin the seedlings. Once the seed has germinated, grow on the seedlings in the same pot for their first year[
], giving an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. Pot up 2 - 3 small bulbs to a pot when the plants are dormant and grow them on in a greenhouse until the bulbs reach flowering size. Plant them out in the spring, after the last expected frosts.
Division of offsets when the plants are dormant. Larger bulbs can be planted straight out into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.