Gordon McNeil

Nicholas Primich
24 August 2000

Gordon McNeil was a Pioneer of Clivia and other bulbous plants in South Africa. At the time he did his collecting there was negligible writing on Clivias, and indeed very little on the Amaryllidaceae. Before we criticize him we should try to understand his position.
He did indeed take over the Blackbeard collection, and also bought plants from the Strapp family. 'Howick Yellows", in fact. Why he should say they had no scent in the wild may become a little clearer after I have completed my sniffing experiment with clivia miniata this season. I wish many of the rest of you would also have a sniff at your flowers three or four times on a regular basis and see what conclusions you come to. I shall not announce any of my results for a while so as not to influence your thinking, but please do sniff morning noon and night.
Gordon did claim a few intergeneric crosses for his clivia which we now know did not happen, it was just his enthusiasm getting ahead of his judgment.