Albuca spiralis L.f.
Corkscrew Albuca, Spiral-leaved Albuca, Spiral Albuca, Slime Lily, Helicopter Plant, Curly Albuca, Sticky Corkscrew Lily
Falconera spiralis, Ornithogalum circinatum, Ornithogalum volutare
Albuca spiralis is a small geophyte recognizable by its distinctive green, narrow, spiral-tipped leaves with glandular hairs. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. Leaves are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. One central flower spike appears in late winter to early spring, bearing green flowers with pale yellow margins.
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 the removal of the bulb from the outdoors in zones with frost. However, they are not frost-hardy, and cold temperatures can damage the bulb.
These South African natives look particularly attractive in rock gardens, slopes, and 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 after that, light watering is all that is necessary when caring for Albuca.
Fertilize Albucas annually at installation and in the early spring with 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.
This species is native to South Africa (Western and Northern Cape Provinces).
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