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//Lachenalia aloides// var. //aurea// [If you can't see the picture, perhaps your browser settings need changing.]



  • Dates for two SABG meetings in 2021 have been set provisionally:
    • Sunday 28 March 2021 (Spring Meeting): a “virtual” online meeting using the Zoom video-conferencing software
    • Sunday 10 October 2021 (Autumn Meeting): either another Zoom meeting or a more conventional meeting in a hall
  • SABG Members: do we have your correct email address? Newsletter no. 43 was sent on 6th January to all SABG members whose email addresses we have. If you are a member and didn’t receive it, please email Richard White (see “Contacts” on this page).
  • Buying seeds from Silverhill: Some members may be put off ordering from overseas suppliers because of the recent changes to plant health regulations in the EU, which still apply in the UK. Jeremy Spon reports that Ondine at Silverhill’s now pools orders from the UK and sends them in one parcel, with a single covering phytosanitary certificate, by courier to her son who lives in Aberdeen, who then sends the individual orders out in the UK post. She makes a charge to each person over and above the cost of the seeds to cover the internal UK postage and a share of the cost of the phyto and the courier. So anyone in the UK can now order from Silverhill’s, safe in the knowledge that their order will be covered by a phyto without it adding a great deal to the cost of their order. There may be a slight delay in the actual turnaround, as Ondine will have to wait until she has enough orders to justify the courier’s charge, although hopefully the flow of orders will be sufficient that any such delay should be slight. It would be nice to do what we can to help Silverhill’s business to thrive, given how dependent we all are on them for seed of the bulbs we all want to grow. They accept PayPal, so ordering should be fairly painless, but I can’t see any description of the phytosanitary certificate process on their website, so I suggest you email Ondine at to check before you place your order. [21 January 2021]
  • Cape Seed and Bulb: If it’s bulbs you’re after, here is the recent illustrated list from Jim Holmes ( of Stellenbosch. [21 January 2021]
  • Newsletter no. 43 (January 2021) is now available. [6 January 2021]

Spring 2021 meeting (Zoom)

We have set a provisional date of Sunday 28th March 2021 for a virtual meeting using the Zoom online video-conferencing software. This should allow anyone with a computer, laptop, tablet or smart-phone to participate. An Internet connection will be required (which you presumably have if you are reading this!) and preferably also a microphone and video-camera (often combined and sometimes called a webcam) if you wish to say something. These are built into smartphones, most tablets and many laptops, and can be plugged into desktop computers.

More details will be posted in due course.

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Keep calm & grow bulbs

More details of our meetings, including directions for getting there, are given on the meetings page.

Other meetings

  • Saturday 20 March 2021: Lachenalia visit day
  • Saturday 16 October 2021: Nerine visit day
  • both organised by the Nerine and Amaryllid Society at the Five Arrows Gallery, Exbury Gardens, Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AX, subject to whatever restrictions are in place at the time, by kind invitation of Nicholas de Rothschild and Theo Herselman. These events are ONLY open for NAAS members; see the NAAS events page, and please inform Theo or the NAAS Secretary Alison Corley if you wish to attend.

Further information

Latest newsletters

  • The latest newsletter is number 43 (January 2021). You can read or download all the SABG newsletters from our list of Newsletters.

I plan to include a photo gallery here. Until it is ready, why not visit Audrey Cain's BulbWeb? Her web-site, now hosted by the SABG, contains over 1,400 photographs of plants in 175 genera (not all of them are South African).

About the Group

The SABG is based in the UK and is for anyone interested in growing the beautiful and diverse bulbous plants of South Africa and neighbouring countries. You do not need to be an expert (I’m not!) or live in the UK, but our meetings have all been in England so far.

The objective of the Southern African Bulb Group is to further the understanding of the cultivation of Southern African bulbs, where ‘bulbs’ is used in the broad sense to encompass bulb-, corm- and tuber- possessing Southern African plants, which are mostly ‘monocots’ (plants with strap-like leaves and flower parts in threes or sixes) but also including ‘dicots’ (with broad leaves and frequently five-petalled flowers) such as Oxalis.

Our activities include two meetings per year with talks and plant sales (recently these have been in Winchester in southern England), an annual bulb and seed exchange, and a newsletter with three or four issues per year.

Many of these plants come from the former Cape Province of South Africa, now the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape Provinces, and are easy to grow in a cool greenhouse or a sunny conservatory or window sill. They usually provide colourful flowers in autumn and winter and need a dry period in summer, because they are mostly winter growers from the winter rainfall areas of South Africa. Some are summer growers and a few of these will grow outside in southern or sheltered parts of the UK, such as Agapanthus, some Nerines and Tulbaghias, etc. Others, like Lachenalia, are real jewels to brighten up your conservatory when not much else is in flower.

For help with finding your way around, click on Help (on the sidebar, which may appear on the left of the page on computers and at the top on small devices).


[Copyright © 2021 by the Southern African Bulb Group and Richard White.]

start.txt · Last modified: 12:49 06/01/2021 by Richard White