From South Africa comes Clivia, a genus of durable shade plants in the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). Although there are 4 species in the genus, it is the Clivia miniata that is most commonly found in cultivation in the United States. Clivia miniata is found in nature in moist and shady sites in Natal, South Africa. This evergreen herbaceous plant typically has a large head (umbel) of between 12 and 20 orange-red trumpet shaped flowers. The leaf width and flower color of Clivia miniata is variable and many selections have been made and named and hybrids with other species (intraspecific hybrids) has also increased the range of flowers types, colors and flowering period.
There are many people who have long been interested in Clivia and Clivia breeding. At the 2001 Clivia Symposium, held at the Huntington Botanic Garden, there were many people from around the world gathered to discuss and share information on Clivia and in 2002 Harold Koopowitz's excellent book, Clivias, was published by Timber Press. It is the book first to describe in detail the different members of the genus Clivia. It begins with the story of clivias discovery and then moves on to issues of cultivation, hybridization, and propagation. The information in this book is great and it is beautifully illustrated.
Another interesting read is the article "Clivia in California" by Randy Baldwin in the Winter 2004 Issue of The Nursery Pro. , a publication of the what was then known as the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC), but is now and organization called the Plant California Alliance. This article features the photography of clivia breeder and photographer James Comstock.