commonly cultivated vygies were called Lampranthus roseus,
but this name has been sunk into L multiradiatus, which is
described as having pale pink flowers and occurring naturally on
the Cape Peninsula. The bright pink, magenta varieties which are
grown throughout the south western Cape may be hybrids. The plants
are decumbent shrublets growing to 500 mm in height, with semi-cylindrical
leaves to 30x40mm.
In late spring or early summer (October-November) the bushes are
covered with brilliant, almost iridescent flowers, varying in colour
from white to pale pink, magenta, violet and rose-pink. Each individual
flower is approx 40mm in diameter. The flowers are pollinated by
bees and beetles.
Growing Lampranthus roseus
is a frequently cultivated and a rewarding floriferous plant. It
is easily propagated from seed or cuttings and needs a sunny position.
Seed can be sown at any time of the year in shallow trays in a sandy
mixture and germination is within 3 weeks. Cuttings are best planted
during the summer months. The plants are short-lived and are best
replaced every 3 years. Lampranthus roseus prefers a sunny,
well-drained slope. The plants thrive in rockeries or containers
in a sunny position. Plants are subject to downy mildew and should
be sprayed with Ridomil from midwinter to just before flowering.
Author: Ernst van Jaarsveld,
with contributions on taxonomy by Cornelia Klak