Namaqua Century Plant

Boophone haemanthoides

Gifbol, Kwaslelie (Afr.)

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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!
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Autumn

Propagation

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

Attracts useful insects
Pot plant

Special features

Origin

Africa, South Africa, in the Cape provinces, and Namibia

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Half-Hardy

Personality

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Flower colour

Initially it is yellow, but turns pink as it ages., Red, Pink

Scent

Strong

Problems

Rare
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Knowledge and advice

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