Klivie, Clivia, strap leaf, distribution areas, species and propagation

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april5Every clivia lover has certainly heard the terms monk's clivia and daruma. What are these names all about?

Monk's clivia originated in China around 1930. Three lines have developed. One variety is the monk's clivia with long leaves (approx. 45 cm and longer), the second variety is the monk's clivia with medium-length leaves (approx. 35 - 45 cm) and the monk's clivia with short leaves under 35 cm. The latter is also the most valuable among growers. They generally have a leaf length to width ratio of 3:1 to 5:1.

Around 1990, Daruma clivias bred in Japan were introduced to China. These clivias had even shorter leaves than the previously known monk clivias. They were between 20 and 30 cm long and between 9 and 12 cm wide. The colouring is darker than that of the monk clivias and the veins are not as prominent as in the monk clivias. Another decisive characteristic is that the leaves of the Daruma are drooping, whereas those of the short-leaved monk clivia are upright.

In the following years, Chinese breeders crossed the short-leaved monk's clive and the Daruma to achieve even shorter and broader leaves. This resulted in various varieties, the best known of which are probably Henglan and Sparrow. Leaf widths of 13 - 14 cm are not uncommon, with a ratio of length to width of 1:1 to 1.5:1.

Today it is very difficult to understand what a monk clivia or a daruma is. Chinese breeders say that one speaks of a monk's clive when it corresponds to the habit of the monk's clive and one corresponding to the habit of the daruma is called a daruma. It seems more plausible to me to speak of Chinese x Japanese hybrids.


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