Boophone disticha

Boophone disticha

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Boophone disticha grows throughout southern and eastern Africa. It is an attractive, deciduous bulbous plant with a thick covering of dry scales above the ground. The large, round heads are sometimes on such short stems that they appear to grow directly from the bulb, almost at ground level.

Boophone disticha has sweetly scented flowers whose color ranges from pink to red and blooming in late winter months into spring. The grey-green erect leaves are arranged in a fan shape, and usually emerge after flowering. This spring-flowering species will often flower even if it does not receive any water in winter. Boophone disticha is one of a few species in this genus that grows mainly in summer rainfall region.

The name Boophone is derived from the Greek “bous”=ox, and “phone”=death, referring to the poisonous properties of the bulb. The specific name disticha means leaves erect in a fan shape. Boophone disticha thrives in full sun in well-drained, sandy soil and also in rocky areas. It should be planted in a protected area, and although it can stand drought, it does not like frost. Plant the bulb so that the neck and part of the bulb show above the ground. This plants seems to grow equally well in well-drained, sandy soil and in hard ground, but it takes a long time to flower after being moved.

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