Albuca navicula

Albuca navicula U. Müller-Doblies, was described as new in 1994 and it occurs on red sandy flats from Clanwilliam to Namaqualand. It grows to 20 cm tall, its bulb typically depressed-globose. Leaves erect-ascending, straight and channeled like the hull of a boat (navicular), glaucous, finely hairy along the margins. Flowers in spring (about March) few per scape, dull green and nodding. This species is marked especially by its small size and "boat-like" leaves.

This is an excellent winter bulb for small pots. Dylan Hannon reports that it has grown well planted shallowly (not more than 1" deep) in 3" pots in a mix comprised mostly of sand and pumice with about 10% organic matter. A. navicula appreciates bright light and even full sun so long as hot temperatures are avoided. The soil mix should be allowed to dry between waterings. As with some other albucas and hyacinths, this species may remain dormant through a whole growing season-- in other words, it can skip a year of growth. This can happen in spite of abundant rain or watering and even with the development of a healthy new root system. This phenomenon appears to be a sort of stasis rather than a setback and a normal growth cycle can be expected the following season.

The photos below depict material collected by John Lavranos in southeastern Namaqualand, near Platbakkies in 1997 (Lavranos & Teissier 30685). Photographed and grown by Dylan Hannon.

Albuca navicula flower, Dylan HannonAlbuca navicula flower, Dylan HannonAlbuca navicula ciliate leaf margins, Dylan HannonAlbuca navicula leaves, Dylan HannonAlbuca navicula mature bulb, Dylan Hannon
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Page last modified on August 16, 2015, at 06:53 AM