Ledebouria revoluta

South Indian Squill


South Africa is blessed with a wide and varied array of little bulbous plants, such as the Ledebouria, of which many are overlooked, from an ornamental perspective, due to their relatively small size.

One of these little gems is the relatively common and widely distributed wavy-leaved Ledebouria that is found growing in grasslands and woodlands. The attractive, fleshy green leaves have prominent purple spots on the upper surface and emerge from the subterranean bulbs after the first spring rains. These are closely followed by the hyacinth-like flower spikes comprised of many tiny, little mauve-to-maroon flowers. They can continue to bloom through into summer and autumn.

Plants are more prominent and easy to see in recently burnt grasslands. It is well-worth cultivating if plants can be found commercially. Please do not harvest bulbs from their wild habitat.


The Gardener