Scientific nameOne of the most striking and robust members of this diverse group, Lachenalia bulbifera is an easily grown bulbous plant that really deserves a place in patio containers, window boxes and rock garden pockets.
Propagation is easily achieved by means of bulb offsets that form towards the end of the growing period, as well as by bulbils that develop along the margins of the leaf bases; bulbils also develop at the tips of subterranean stolons produced from the base of the bulb. These can be removed during the summer dormant period and be replanted separately in autumn. Seeds can be harvested from capsules as soon as they split open in late spring and should be stored until sowing time in autumn. The seeds are best sown in deep seed trays in the same mixture recommended for mature bulbs, and will germinate within two to three weeks, if fresh. Flowering from seed usually occurs in the third season.
Lachenalia bulbifera is a rewarding species under cultivation provided a few simple points are borne in mind. The bulbs are deciduous and winter-growing, and are completely dormant during the summer months. They should be planted in early autumn (March to mid-April in the southern hemisphere). The top of the bulb should rest 2-3 cm below the surface. The growing medium must be well aerated and drain rapidly; a recommended soil mixture is equal parts of finely sifted, well-decomposed compost and river sand/silica sand (swimming pool sand), and it is best to plant the bulbs in a layer of pure river sand or silica sand.
We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!
Conservation status: Least Concern
This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.
This nectar-rich species attracts sunbirds and sugarbirds
This is a bird-friendly species
Lachenalia bulbifera is indigenous to: Cape Flats Dune Strandveld