Ghosts and watercolours

Ghost flower category – This includes flowers with distinct differences in the tepal colouring, displaying a dilute or loss of colour of the tepal on the inner surfaces in places.

This description above, is from the latest Clivia Society show rules.

Ghost or watercolours have at last earned their rightful place at local shows with a category specifically for watercolours, ghosts and particolours. Florid White Lips would also fall into this category. (Fig.2)

As breeders flower more ghost and watercolour type flowers every year, these colours have become more popular among collectors.

Breeding aims:

  • We believe the first things needed in the fundamentals of plant breeding, is to have a passion for what you are doing and an enjoyment of working with the particular group or colour you have chosen.
  • Every year pollen from only the best ghost types are used for selfing, interbreeding and backcrossing to parent plants.
  • We have been progressing with our ghost breeding efforts over the years and have produced some beautiful new colour variations including pink pastel ghosts, ghosts with pencil thin picotee edges of which Lipstick Ghost and Spirit Ghost are excellent examples.
  • Our major focus has been continuing to breed with a particular clone named Ghost 2

History of Ghost 2: (info - Charl Malan)

"During a visit to Yoshi Nakamura in 1994, Charl Malan received a few Ghost seeds. These were planted and when they flowered in 2000, Charl selected the best two ghosts and named them Ghost 1 and Ghost 2. As these two plants were flowering simultaneously, they were pollinated with each other and in subsequent years produced top ghosts, pinks and yellows."


Breeding results with Ghost 2:

  • We have crossed Ghost 2 with Florid white lips and the results were super ghosts with large amounts of white in the tepals. The first of these crosses to flower “Spectre”, was the judges` choice at the EP show in 2016. 
  • Pollen from Ghost 2 is dominant and used as a pollen parent will result in a large percentage of ghosts. We have flowered (Pastel x Chiba orange) x Ghost 2 as a stunning pastel ghost we have named “Vision”.
  • Another great example in our collection, using the pollen of Ghost 2, was bred by the late Mark Lewis.  Kelly`s Globe (Large yellow) x Ghost 2 resulted in a super ghost “Phantasm” which we have used extensively over the past three years. 
  • Ghost 2 does not self well and results in poor seed set.  It is a large robust plant, but offsets poorly.
  • The unpigmented stems of Chiba x Ghost 2 have resulted in some amazing large flowered near whites of meaning Ghost 2 is split for group 1 yellow. Greater White, Jon Snow and Daenerys are typical examples.
  • These result in exceptionally beautiful yellows, near whites and pinks.


New developments now also include multi tepal ghosts.

Ghost/particolour breeding is still in its early stages of development,  and we can look forward to many beautiful colour combinations to emerge from these crosses.


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Ghosts and watercolours