Bobartia

Bobartia is an evergreen genus in the Iridaceae family that has a creeping or erect rhizome as a rootstock. Leaves range from linear and flat to elliptical or round and are usually crowded together basally. Most of the flowers are fleeting and yellow. The 14 species are found in the western and eastern Cape of South Africa and are mostly montane and found in rocky low nutrient sandstone soils and are most conspicuous after fires.


Bobartia gracilis Baker is an Eastern Cape species with long whip-like leaves and bright yellow flowers in clusters at the tops of willowy stems. It grows in coastal grasslands and blooms sporadically, but especially in spring. Photo by Cameron McMaster.

Bobartia gracilis, Cameron McMaster

Bobartia lilacina G.J.Lewis is found on mountain slopes on shale in the southwestern Cape. It grows from 30 to 70 cm and has narrowly sword-shaped leaves and is the only species with violet flowers. Photos of flowers taken by Rachel Saunders March 2011 in the southwestern Cape. The third photo shows the seedpods.

Bobartia lilacina, Rachel SaundersBobartia lilacina, Rachel SaundersBobartia lilacina seed pods, Rachel Saunders

Bobartia longicyma Gillett in found on sandy flats and lower slopes in the southwest and southern Cape. The yellow flowers are enclosed by green to purple spathes, arranged in a small head of long individual clusters. Photos by Cameron McMaster taken in the Overberg.

Bobartia longicyma, Cameron McMasterBobartia longicyma, Cameron McMaster

Bobartia macrocarpa Strid is an evergreen plant growing to 1 m that is found on grassy slopes in the southeastern Cape. This species has terete leaves and yellow flowers enclosed by dull green to brownish spathes arranged in a small head of two to six clusters. Photos taken by Andrew Harvie in the Suurberg area of the southeastern Cape.

Bobartia macrocarpa, Andrew HarvieBobartia macrocarpa, Andrew HarvieBobartia macrocarpa, Andrew Harvie

Bobartia macrospatha Baker is a southern Cape species that is found on mountain slopes in fynbos. It grows from 50 to 110 cm with terete to linear leaves. The yellow flowers are arranged in a dense head of mostly 10 to 30 individual clusters and are enclosed by fibrous, slightly inflated spathes. It flowers spring to summer. The first three photos taken by Andrew Harvie in the Buffelsnek State Forest, southern Cape. The last photo below from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of J and A Vlok.

Bobartia macrospatha, Buffelsnek State Forest, Andrew HarvieBobartia macrospatha, Buffelsnek State Forest, Andrew HarvieBobartia macrospatha, Buffelsnek State Forest, Andrew HarvieBobartia macrospatha, J and A Vlok

Bobartia paniculata G.J.Lewis is found on middle to upper slopes in fynbos in the Kammanassie Mountains. Growing from 40 to 100 cm high, it has flat leaves and yellow flowers loosely arranged near the top of the sticky branched flowering stem. It flowers in midsummer. The photo below from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of J and A Vlok.

Bobartia paniculata, J and A Vlok

Bobartia sp. This unidentified species was blooming in the southwestern Cape in September 2003. Photo by Bob Rutemoeller.

Bobartia sp., Bob Rutemoeller

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Page last modified on July 08, 2017, at 05:12 PM