The Cape Horticultural Society encourages experienced and amateur gardeners to meet like-minded people who want to share knowledge, and to promote biodiversity, where plants flourish and the balance of nature exists.

What’s new in September?

Clivia miniata

Pick of the Month

Here is an explanation from John for those who would like to know more about how the colouring in the flowers comes about:

“The more commonly seen orange clivia has red anthocyanin in the outermost cell layers of the petals and sepals.
The middle layers of cells contain yellow carotenoid pigment.

The overlay of red on yellow produces the orange colour that we see.

In the case of peaches, like mine, there is a naturally occurring mutation in the anthocyanin pathway which results in only a small amount
of the red pigment being deposited in the petals and sepals.

The overlay of this dilute red over the yellow in the middle cells results in the peach colour of the flowers.

The physical difference between a yellow flower and a peach or orange flower is that with a yellow a mutation results in a total blockage of the anthocyanin pathway
so that no red anthocyanin pigment at all is deposited in the outer-most cell layers of the petals and sepals.
All that is visible in the flowers of a yellow clivia is the yellow carotenoid pigment in the middle layers of cells in the petals and sepals,
underlying a clear layer of outermost cell layers.”

CHS Chatter


Mike Byren is, possibly, dare I say, our “oldest” CHS member. To be more correct, he is definitely not the oldest but rather a member of long-standing, having joined as a young man in 1958. With the rose season upon us, Mike recalls the days, 60 years ago, of the annual CHS Rose Show.

The Rose Show

7.30 am – It is a warm October morning and as you enter the City Hall from the dusty smelly streets of Cape Town the air is heavy with the wonderful overpowering fragrance of hundreds of roses.

The scene is dominated by the dark velvety reds, ‘Papa Meilland’, ‘Charlotte Armstrong’ and ‘Charles Mallerin’; the pinks, ‘First Love’ and ‘Aloha’; the beautiful light yellow ‘Chiang Kai Shek ‘and especially the ultra-vigorous new variety ‘Peace’, hybridized by the Meilland Family of France and described by Robert Pyle, renowned American Rose Breeder and Grower, as “pale gold, cream and ivory petals blending to a lightly ruffled edge of delicate carmine“. ...

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Plants in Season

Pop back next month to see what members have been growing in their suburban gardens.