A picture of a Namaqua Century Plant

Namaqua Century Plant

Boophone haemanthoides

Also known as

Gifbol, Kwaslelie (Afr.), Kwaslelie

Boophane haemanthoides by mmmavocado (CC BY 2.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

10a-11b

USDA zone

-1°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

Max

50cm

Min

45cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Namaqua Century Plant

A photo of Namaqua Century Plant
Large bulbs showing thick layers of papery tunics of Boophone haemanthoides subsp. ernesti-ruschii (Hendrik van Zijl)
Close-up of flower head of Boophone haemanthoides subsp. ernesti-ruschii (Hendrik van Zijl)
Flowers of Boophone haemanthoides subsp. ernesti-ruschii (Hendrik van Zijl)
Ripening infructescence of Boophone haemanthoides subsp. ernesti-ruschii (Hendrik van Zijl)

Namaqua Century Plant Overview

The Boophone haemanthoides is a bulbous, herbaceous plant, with a primitive look to it. It is known not only for its sweet Frangipani-like, scented flowers but also for its poisonous bulbs and leaves. This species only produces one scented inflorescence and flowering is completed before seasonal leaf production. Seed distribution is conducted by the wind, the flowerhead dries up and separates from the main plant, where it is carried by light breezes, scattering seeds as it rolls. Once planted it may take up to 15 years to reach maturity, but capable of lasting over 100 years, this species could outlive most humans! This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: Northern Cape, Western Cape.

Common problems with Namaqua Century Plant

Rare

    How to propagate Namaqua Century Plant

    Seed

    The seed should be planted 40 cm below the soil and this should be done after the last frost. If it is planted with an existing bulb, plant it so that the bulb is two-thirds above ground level.

    Special features of Namaqua Century Plant

    Attracts useful insects

    Bees and flies.

    Pot plant

    Drought resistant

    Attractive flowers

    Flowers are initially yellow, but turn pink as they age.

    Other uses of Namaqua Century Plant

    Medicinal