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GALTONIA candicans

Image of Galtonia candicans

James H. Schutte

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

GALTONIA candicans

Plant Common Name

Cape Hyacinth , Summer Hyacinth

General Description

Admired for its delightful summer display of fragrant white flowers, this winter-dormant perennial bulb from eastern South Africa is also remarkable for its cold-hardiness.

The fleshy underground bulbs give rise to thick, light- to medium-green, strap- to lance-shaped basal leaves that are erect or arching. In mid to late summer, tall, steeple-shaped clusters of nodding, white, green-tinged bell-flowers are borne atop waist-high, leafless stalks. The flowers expand from green buds, with the lowest flowers opening first.

Plant this bulb shallowly in fertile, well-drained soil that is moist in spring and summer but drier in winter. Summer hyacinth does best in full sun. In areas with mild winters (USDA zones 7 and higher), it forms lush, floriferous clumps. Mulched plantings often over-winter in zones 5 and 6. In colder zones, dig bulbs in fall and store indoors, either bare-root or in pots. Bulbs may be repotted and started into growth in early spring, and planted out after danger of hard frost.

This pleasing summer bulb makes a striking and unusual accent for perennial borders and mixed plantings. It also works well in containers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No