Century Plant

Boophone disticha

profile iconBoophone disticha, habitus, Skeerpoort, a
by JMK (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 10
profile iconBoophone disticha, habitus, Skeerpoort, a
by JMK (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 10
Also known as Century plant, this large bulbous species can grow for over 100 years. Originating from South Africa, it is well known for its poisonous bulb and unique leaves arranged in a fan shape. This species only produces one scented inflorescence and flowering is completed before seasonal leaf production. After flowering, to distribute seeds and reproduce, the fruiting heads stiffen and elongate around 30cm. Then the fruiting head will separate from the flowering stalk, where it is carried by light breezes, scatters seeds as it moves. It may take up to 15 years to reach maturity, but this plant is capable of lasting over 100 years and could outlive most humans!
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

Propagation

Seed

In nature, the dried out flowers release seeds, and so it propagates. If planting a bulb ensure that at least two-thirds of the bulb is above the ground.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Bees and flies.

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Southern Africa

Natural climate

Dry winter rain areas.

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

The Century plant is used in traditional medicine to cure a number of ailments. It may be applied to boils and abscesses, it may be used to alleviate pain, treat insomnia and headaches amongst others.

Personality

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Red

Scent

Mild

Problems

Rare

Credits

profile iconBoophone disticha
by Eliot Lithudzha, Pretoria National Botanical Garden, August 2005 (conservation status updated July 2016) (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play