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Lachenalia, "Soldier Boys" tiny South African lilies that love container life. Closely related to Hyacinths but most have no fragrance but make up for this with their vividly coloured flowers. Prefer light soils, perfect drainage, sun to partial shade and are frost tender.
Lachenalia are excellent wherever conditions remain mostly dry, especially during their summer dormancy.
In Autumn their small Tulip/Hyacinth-shaped leaves emerge from dormancy. These fleshy leaves are often mottled in bronze or purple.
In late winter and early spring, short spikes (6-12inches/15/30cm) of waxy tubular bells rise from within the central leaves. Lachenalia aloides var. quadricolor is a classic hardy variety with golden yellow and green outer petals and inner petals with a spot of maroon.
It is an extremely good species for containers. Other cultivars and over 100 species produce spikes of flowers in shades of blue, cream, gold, orange, pink, purple, red and white.