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Albuca spiralis (Corkscrew Albuca)

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Scientific Name

Albuca spiralis L.f.

Common Names

Corkscrew Albuca, Spiral-leaved Albuca, Spiral Albuca, Slime Lily, Helicopter Plant, Curly Albuca, Sticky Corkscrew Lily

Synonyms

Falconera spiralis, Ornithogalum circinatum, Ornithogalum volutare

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Albuca

Description

Albuca spiralis is a small geophyte, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, recognizable by its distinctive leaves, which are narrow and spiral tipped with glandular hairs. The leaves are green and up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. In late winter to early spring one central flower spike appear, bearing green flowers with pale yellow margins.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Albucas require sandy, loose soil in full to partial sun to produce their characteristic blooms. The plants can grow 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm) tall with a slightly smaller width. Good cultivation encourages removal of the bulb from the outdoors in zones with frost. They are not frost hardy and cold temperatures can damage the bulb.

These South African natives look particularly attractive in rock gardens, slopes and even containers. The biggest requirement for Albuca care is superior drainage. The regions to which they are native are not known for consistent moisture, which means it is drought tolerant once established. Consistent watering at planting is necessary to mimic the rainy season but thereafter, light watering is all that is necessary when caring for Albuca.

Fertilize Albucas annually at installation and in the early spring with a good all-purpose bulb food. Cut back spent foliage after it yellows and begins to wilt.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Albuca.

Origin

Albuca spiralis is native to South Africa (Western and Northern Cape Provinces).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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