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Clivia show coming to town

Sandra Simpson, Judy Coenen and Ian Duncalf with one of their joint clivia crosses.

After 12 years, Judy Coenen’s interest in clivias has grown into somewhat of an obsession – she now has thousands of plants.

“It starts as a hobby, then it’s a passion and before you know it, it’s an obsession,” she says.

“Then you find yourself importing seed from Japan and South Africa; seed that’s really expensive so you promise yourself not to do it again, but then the next catalogue arrives and every seed is a gamble because there’s no guarantee of what you’re going to get.”

Judy, who lives at Apata, and well-known Te Puna plant breeder Ian Duncalf regularly swap pollen for their breeding programmes.

Ian has named a clivia after golfing star Lydia Ko and is considering naming one for Dame Valerie Adams. “I only name a plant when I’m reasonably pleased with it,” Ian says, “and it may take a couple of seasons for me to decide if it’s got the right attributes.”

He reckons naming a clivia for his wife was a particularly dangerous thing to do. “Fortunately, the flower of Clivia Barbara is as beautiful as the woman.”

The clivia show is coming to Tauranga on September 22 from 1-4pm at Te Puna Quarry Park. Entry is free and there will be plants for sale as well as a chance to talk to local growers and breeders.

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