Babiana villosa

Babiana villosa

Babiana villosa

Scientific name

The plant grows to 20 cm with several knife-shaped pleated leaves with bright red or dark pink flowers with a dark centre. It is found wedged between rocks away from baboon, moles and porcupines. It grows in clay soils of Renosterveld.

Flowers from August to September, with the flowers only fully opening only hot still days. Flowers are visited by bees and pollinated by monkey beetles.

Plant corms in 3 cm deep in coarse sand in autumn and water once until it shoots, and then water once per week. Plant fresh seeds in autumn.

It has no medicinal value but known to be eaten historically.

Propagation instructions

By cutting

Plant the corms 3cm deep in autumn in a sharply drained, gritty medium such as three parts coarse river sand and one part finely milled bark or potting compost. Water the plants heavily after planting and not again until the leaf shoots appear, then water heavily once per week during the winter growing period and do not allow the soil to dry out excessively over this time as this results in the plants aborting the developing inflorescences and entering dormancy prematurely. During the summer dormant period, keep the corms as dry as possible.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Seedbank Quantity
Arundel Seedbank 50
Total 50
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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Near Threatened

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Good potplant

It provides food for:


Babiana villosa is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos

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