Galtonia summer hyacinth
Height 1.2m (4ft)
Planting distance 20-25cm (8-10in)
Flowers mid summer to early autumn
Bulbs available late winter to
Pure white, hanging, bell-shaped, tinged green at the base, make the summer hyacinth a particularly beautiful plant for a border. Its slightly scented flowers appear from mid summer to early autumn, in clusters of 10-30 at the top of a single, leafless stem, up to 1.2m (4ft) high. Galtonia candicans is the only readily available species. It looks best at the back of a herbaceous border, among shrubs, or in large outdoor containers.
Cover the bulbs with 15cm (6in) of soil and set them 20-25cm (8-10in) apart in early or mid spring. Place three or five bulbs together, or scatter them among early flowering herbaceous plants or annuals. Leave undisturbed once established. Remove the flower stems when tidying the border in autumn.
Every four years, divide offsets in early autumn and replant. They will produce flowers two to three years later.
Pests and diseases
Generally trouble free, though grey mould may sometimes affect newly planted bulbs.