Curly Albucas

Sat, 06 Apr 2013 18:02:59 PDT
This group of albucas and those names have long confused me also. The
following descriptions are from the authoritative "Cape Plants" (Goldblatt
& Manning, 2000) (note it is not an actual key to these species):

A. hallii U.Muell.-Doblies
10-15cm, leaves few, linear, glandular, corkscrewed above, obtuse. Flowers
March-May, yellow with green keels. Vredendal, Little Karroo.

A. namaquensis Bak.
To 30cm, bulb tunics membranous. Leaves many, channelled or rolled, usually
coiled above, not clasping below, scabrid or hairy. Flowers September to
October, yellow with green keels. Namibia to E Cape.

A. spiralis L.f.
20-40cm, leaves few to many, linear, channelled or rolled, often spirally
twisted above, clasping below, glandular-hairy and peduncle also
glandular-hairy below. Flowers August to October, green, outer tepals with
cream to yellow margins, sweetly fragrant. Namaqualand to Cape Peninsula.

All three species have flowers with outer stamens sterile (a useful
character in identifying albucas). I'm not sure how the authors
differentiate between "corkscrewed" and "coiled" and "spirally twisted"
here. Note that flowering times given are for the southern hemisphere and
need to be converted by about six months for growers in the northern


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