I decided, after all that wonderful rain, to take a walk in Steenbok and have a closer look at the plants coming into flower. It was such a HOT afternoon that I took a seat under a tree on one of the benches across the path from the Indigenous Gardens. I found myself looking at Knysna across the lagoon, just pondering…. You should try it – it’s good! Then I realized I was not alone. In the cool shade, nodding by my side in the gentle breeze was an Albuca bracteata.
This succulent bulb is commonly known as the pregnant onion due to the fact that it does look like an pale green to yellow onion sitting on top of the soil – growing up to 10cm in diameter – and also because it “makes babies” on its side. The long, pendulous, evergreen leaves can reach up to 15cm in length and droop to the ground. The mature mother bulb produces a single tall, dense raceme of starry flowers which are white with pale stripes of green up each petal.
Caution: the sap can cause inflammation of the skin and most parts of this plant are considered toxic to humans.