Albuca spiralis

Albuca spiralis L.f. is distributed in the northwestern and southwestern Cape from Namaqualand to the Cape Peninsula and to the eastern Little Karoo, South Africa, growing in sandy and loamy soils. Flowering occurs in spring (August-October). The flowers are green with pale yellow margins, nodding, sweetly scented, reportedly of butter and vanilla! The smell can be quite strong on a warm sunny day. Leaves are narrow, wavy like a snake to spirally twisted with glandular hairs. The degree of spiral depends on the clone and the amount of sunlight the plant receives when the leaves started growing. The peduncle also has glandular hairs at the base. Flowering late winter to mid-spring. Plants are winter-growing and summer-dormant. The first photo below was taken in habitat in the Kamiesberg, Namaqualand by Andrew Harvie. The second photo is from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Albuca spiralis, Kamiesberg, Andrew HarvieAlbuca spiralis, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Photos 1-6 were taken by Nhu Nguyen showing various leaf morphologies from seed-raised plants.

Albuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu Nguyen

The photos below were taken by Nhu Nguyen. Photo 6 shows three-month-old seedlings (seeds from 2007 PBS Seed Sale) grown by Nhu Nguyen. The crop of adults could be seen in photo 3 taken in 2013. It took about 4 years for this species to mature from seeds.

Albuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis seeds, Nhu NguyenAlbuca spiralis seedlings, Nhu Nguyen

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Page last modified on February 05, 2018, at 10:25 AM