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Peach and Pink Clivia

and how to breed them


The famous yellow-flowered clivias once sold for enormous prices. More recently, peach and pink Clivia have become very valuable. For the most part, there are now plenty of the yellows in cultivation. Now we need to breed more peaches.

Two of the most famous yellow clivias from the wild were 'Kirstenbosch Yellow' and 'Howick Yellow'. Both are what is referred to a genetic Type 1 yellow. There is a second genetic type of yellow flowered clivia, the Type 2 yellow. 'Natal Yellow' and 'Transkei Yellow' are both Type 2 yellows. Other well-known yellows such as 'Vico Yellow' and the strain of Nakamura Yellows are also Type 1 yellow.

See the discussion of Type 1 and Type 2 yellow genetics.

The physical difference between a yellow flower and a peach flower is that the peach has a small amount of anthocyanin pigment in the outer-most cell layers of the petals and sepals. Both colors have carotenoid pigment in the middle layers of cells in the petals and sepals.


Just as there are three or more genetic types of yellow flowered Clivia, there are multiple types of pink and peach flowered Clivia. A brief summary:

The 'Chubb Peach' strain is in the Type 1 Yellow genetic class. We can call this "Class Y1" in this discussion. In referring just to the peach color, we can call this "Class P1."

John van der Linde has posted a very informative message on the clivia-enthusiast list in Yahoo Groups (on 22 September 2009, titled "Re: [clivia] looking for Victorian peach to buy")

John classifies the following Peach clones and strains into a single genetic group which he calls "European Peaches."

'Wittig Pink' appears to be in the same class as the Appleblossom series (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, etc.). Let's call this "Class P4" for now.

There are other pink and pastel strains, such as Solomone's 'Watercolor Washed Pink' and 'Watercolor Washed Pastel', which may have genes related to some of the above classes. Other pastel plants include such as 'Gladys Blackbeard', 'Ella van Zijl', 'Umtamvuna Pink' and others. There is no data on the genetics or breeding potential of these plants so far as I know.

The near white types, especially Jim Holmes' 'Snowball' strain and related plants, seem to be Class Y1 yellows in which the yellow has disappeared from parts of the petals, because many of the seedlings bloom pale yellow. The green plants, such as 'Charl's Green' and 'Hirao', might be compatible with more than one of the above classes. We'll have to wait for eventual breeding results to become known.

For more information see:


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Last revised: 21 December 2009

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