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Useful Tropical Plants

Babiana hypogea

Burch.

Iridaceae

+ Synonyms

Antholyza hypogea (Burch.) Klatt

Babiana falcata G.J.Lewis

Babiana flavida G.J.Lewis

Common Name:

Babiana hypogea

General Information

Babiana hypogea is a herbaceous perennial plant with subterranean stems growing from a corm. Often growing in clumps; the leaves are up to 15cm long, with flowering stems about 5 - 8cm tall[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana

Range

Southern Africa - Namibia, Botswana, northern and central S. Africa

Habitat

Red sand plains[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
]. Usually in Kalahari Sand or stony laterite in open woodland or grassland[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
]..

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitCorm
Height0.10 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Babiana hypogea grows in semi-arid areas on the edge of the summer rainfall areas of southwest Africa. Its growth habit responds at least in part to rainfall timing, with some plants flowering in summer when the occasional good summer rains fall, rather than in the more usual dry late winter and spring[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
]. Outside its native habitat, plants can be grown in regions where winter temperatures do not fall much below -5°c, or they can be grown outdoors through the summer, lifting the corms in autumn and storing them for replanting the following spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Requires a sunny position in a light, rich, freely-draining soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The corms should be planted 20 - 25cm deep[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The flowers are scented[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Corms - cooked[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
]. A sweet, nutty flavour, they lack the bitterness that plants in this family often have[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
]. The corms are 2 - 3cm in diameter[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - usually germinates within 4 - 8 weeks at 20°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Give young seedlings as much light as possible[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not need to be thinned and grow the young plants on for their first year without disturbance. Give an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not become nutrient deficient. Pot the small bulbs up when they are dormant, placing 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot, and grow them on until large enough to plant out - preferably when dormant.

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