Antholyza hypogea (Burch.) Klatt
Babiana falcata G.J.Lewis
Babiana flavida G.J.Lewis
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[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Southern Africa - Namibia, Botswana, northern and central S. Africa
Red sand plains[
]. Usually in Kalahari Sand or stony laterite in open woodland or grassland[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
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[
]. Outside its native habitat, plants can be grown in regions where winter temperatures do not fall much below -5Â°c, or they can be grown outdoors through the summer, lifting the corms in autumn and storing them for replanting the following spring[
Requires a sunny position in a light, rich, freely-draining soil[
The corms should be planted 20 - 25cm deep[
The flowers are scented[
Corms - cooked[
]. A sweet, nutty flavour, they lack the bitterness that plants in this family often have[
]. The corms are 2 - 3cm in diameter[
Seed - usually germinates within 4 - 8 weeks at 20Â°c[
]. Give young seedlings as much light as possible[
]. 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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