Galtonia (Summer Hyacinth, Giant Summer Hyacinth, Cape Hyacinth)
is a genus comprising only four species of flowering plants in family Hyacinthaceae
, native to South Africa. Galtonia was named after Sir Francis Galton. It is useful in the mixed border or containers, providing flowers in late summer.
Galtonia species are grown from hardy bulbs, reaching a height of 90-120 cm tall. The leaves are strap-like, linear, gray-green to dark green. Galtonia has a long blooming period from mid-summer to autumn, bearing fragrant, white, bell-shape flowers on long upright stems.
The most widely-grown species is Galtonia candicans
(Cape hyacinth, summer hyacinth). The leaves are long, grey-green in color and lance-shaped. Each erect stem of 1.2m can produced 30-40 cream-white, bell-shaped flowers which are faintly scented. Another species Galtonia viridiflora
produces beautiful spikes of 15-30 greenish-white, bell-shaped flower, also in late summer.
Glatonia prefers sun, moisture-retentive but well-drained soil. New plants are usually grown from bulbs as plants start from seeds take about 5 years to bear flowers.