This section of the forest is under irrigation to help ensure the survival of one of South Africa's most famous plants - clivias. There are 4 clivia species: Clivia miniata, C. nobilis, C. gardenii and C. caulescens. They originate in the forests along the eastern side of South Africa, and the Natal National Botanic Garden is ideally situated for growing these shade loving plants.
We are growing populations of clivias from different locations throughout the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Each population is marked and kept separate from the others. As clivias disappear from their natural habitat, due mainly to illegal collection for medicinal use and horticulture, the genetic resource of wild-origin plants held by the Garden will become more and more valuable. When opportunities arise for restocking areas with clivias, or for research into their medicinal uses, we will have the plants available.
Coupled with this project is the collection of clones of the yellow clivia (C. miniata var. citrina) which have been collected in the wild over the last century.
We are also collecting information about these plants, many of which are used widely throughout the world in the horticultural industry.
We not only collect yellow clivia plants, but also breed them for their horticultural potential. Several excellent crosses have already come from our plants.