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The Botanical Society of South Africa
       Kwa Zulu-Natal Coastal Branch

Bulbs 2016

What is a bulb? For the gardener, this term generally includes all plants with lumpy rootstocks. Mature plants can usually be transplanted safely a few days after they are lifted. Such plants would include genuine bulbs such as Ifafa lilies (Cyrtanthus mackenii); plants with rhizomes such as the iris Dietes grandiflora - see under Grass-like plants; tuberous plants such as the arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) and plants with corms such as Crocosmia aurea. Bulbs contribute striking forms and the seasonal excitement of delicately perfect, glistening flowers to a planting. Many local bulbs have interesting medicinal properties.

Agapanthus minimus

Dwarf Blue Agapanthus

Evergreen clumping bulb, 30cm, sun, blue flowerheads.

Agapanthus minimus

Dwarf White Agapanthus

Evergreen clumping bulb, 30cm, sun, white flowerheads.

Agapanthus orientalis

Medium Blue Agapanthus

Evergreen clumping bulb, 60cm, large blue flowerheads.

Agapanthus praecox

Large Blue Agapanthus

Evergreen clumping bulb, 60cm, large blue flowerheads.

Agapanthus praecox

Large White Agapanthus

Evergreen clumping bulb, 90cm, large white flowerheads.

Albuca batteniana

Pondoland Albuca

Clumping bulb, sun. 60cm. Attractive white & green flowers on arching stalks

Albuca nelsonii

Candelabrum Lily

Clumping bulb in sun or shade. Robust. Showy white and green flowers

Albuca rupestris

Yellow Albuca

30cm, yellow or white flowers with green stripe,sweetly scented

Albuca setosa

Clumping Albuca

Small clumping bulb, sun. 30cm. Attractive spikes of white & green flowers

Aristea ecklonii

Blue Stars

Sword-shaped leaves clumping 30cm. Profuse pretty dark blue flowers

Clivia miniata

Orange Clivia

Evergreen clumping bulb 50cm, needs shade, spectacular orange flower-heads

Clivia miniata

Yellow Clivia

Evergreen clumping bulb 50cm, needs shade, spectacular yellow flower-heads

Clivia nobilis

Eastern Cape Clivia

Drooping red, green-tipped flowers, leathery leaves, notched tip

Clivia robusta

Swamp Clivia

1.5m, light shade, orange tubular flowers; recent discovery in the human world

Clivia X 'Interspecific'

Hybrid Clivia

Evergreen clumping bulb, shade, spectacular apricot-orange trumpet flowers

Crinum bulbispermum

Orange River Crinum

Bulb in forest shade. Also sun hardy. Over 1m. Tall, with long leaves and white flowers.

Crinum macowanii

River Crinum

Deciduous bulb, 80 cm, sun; lovely, large scented white and pink trumpet flowers

Crinum moorei

Moore's Crinum

Deciduous bulb for damp sun, Large pink and white trumpets, grey-green foliage.

Crocosmia pottsii

Slender Crocosmia

70cm clumping bulb, sun/shade, lovely orange flowers

Cyrtanthus breviflorus

Yellow Fire Lily

20cm clumping grassland bulb, damp sunny areas, bright yellow flared flowers

Cyrtanthus mackenii

Ifafa Lily

Clumping bulb, sun, 30cm, tubular flowers, rockery or potplant, variety of colours

Cyrtanthus obliquus

Giant Cyrtanthus

Large Cyrtanthus, grey-green strap leaves & drooping salmon-green flowers

Dierama medium

Mauve Hairbell

Clumping sun-loving bulb with wands of pretty mauve flowers

Dierama sp.

White Hairbell

Clumping sun-loving bulb with wands of pretty white flowers

Dietes bicolor

Peacock Flower

70cm clumping with grass-like leaves, sun/semi-shade; pretty yellow flowers

Dietes iridioides

Small Wild Iris

50cm clumping grass-like plant, sun/shade; pretty, white 'iris' flowers all year

Drimia elata

Satin Squill

Clumping deciduous bulb with iridescent silvery flowers on tall spikes. Sun.

Drimiopsis maculata

Spotted-leaf Drimiopsis

Attractive small clumping bulb; ground cover for shade, potplant. Cute little lilies.

Eucomis sp.

Dwarf Eucomis

Deciduous bulb with attractive short cream-white flower-spikes, sun/semi-shade

Eucomis sp.

Pineapple Lily

Deciduous bulb with attractive tall cream/pink flower-spikes, sun.

Freesia laxa

Woodland Painted Petals

Small clumping deciduous bulb. Forest margins.  

Freesia laxa subsp.azurea

Blue Freesia

Small clumping deciduous bulb. Forest margins

Gladiolus dalenii

African Gladiolus

1m, sun, stems of striking orange and yellow flowers for the vase.

Haemanthus albiflos

Snowbrush Lily

Clumping semi-deciduous bulb for shade, pretty white torch lilies, red berries

Hypoxis angustifolia

Small Hypoxis

Small clumping bulb. Yellow star flowers most of the year. Good groundcover

Hypoxis hemerocallidea


40cm, sun; attractive yellow flowers for a long period.

Hypoxis hirsuta

Yellow Stars

Compact clumping bulb, 15cm, sun; attractive yellow star flowers

Kniphofia linearifolia

Common Marsh Poker

80cm clumping for damp areas, 1.5m green-yellow poker flowers, birds

Kniphofia pauciflora

Dainty Poker

30cm, sun/semi, damp soil. Yellow flowers. Extinct in the wild.

Ledebouria cooperii

Cooper's Squill

25 cm, attractive spotted and striped leaves, pink flowers

Ledebouria floribunda

Giant Ledebouria

30cm solitary deciduous bulb, sun, creamy-white arching flower spikes

Ledebouria revoluta

Spotted Squill

Low-growing, spotted leaves, mauve flowers, good pot plant

Merwilla natalensis

Blue Squill

Sun-loving deciduous bulb, 80cm pretty blue flower spikes

Ornithogalum juncifolium

Grass-leaved Chincherinchee

40cm, bulb with white flowers and faint green stripe, used traditionally as protection against storms

Scadoxus membranaceus

Dwarf Paintbrush

30cm, shade on dunes, small orange torch lily, glossy red berries last for weeks

Scadoxus multiflorus subsp.katharinae

Katherine Wheel

1m deciduous bulbs for moist light shade. Spaerical pink-red inflorescence

Scadoxus puniceus

Snake Lily

70cm deciduous bulb, sun/shade, stunning large orange flowerhead, red berries

Tulbaghia acutiloba

Orange Wild Garlic

30cm clumping bulb, sun, scented orange-beige flowers, grows in grassland

Tulbaghia simmleri 'Mauve'

Large Wild Garlic-Purple

Clumping deciduous bulb, sun. Purple flowers

Tulbaghia simmleri 'W'

White Sweet Garlic

Clumping Eastern Cape evergreen bulb, sun. Scented pretty white flowers

Veltheimia bracteata

Glossy Forest Lily

Bulb with dark glossy foliage in light shade. Blooms 80cm, pink flowers.

Watsonia socium

Pillan's Watsonia

Bulb in grassland communities. White flowers.

Watsonia socium

White Pillan's Watsonia

Bulb in grassland communities. Bright orange flowers.

Watsonia sp.

White Watsonia

70cm evergreen clumping bulb, moist soil, sun, pretty white flowerspikes

Watsonia spp mixed

Cape Watsonia sp.

1m, sun, pretty colourful flowers. Deciduous. Good cut-flower.

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Arum Lily

90 cm clumping bulb, damp soil, beautiful large white spathes

Zantedeschia Green Goddess

Green Goddess Arum

80 cm, near water,sun, attractive cream-green flowers, scented