Drimiopsis is a bulbous genus in the Hyacinthaceae family from tropical and South Africa. Most have oval basal leaves that are spotted and spikes of flowers that are small white or greenish. In J. Manning, P. Goldblatt & M.F. Fay, "A revised generic synopsis of Hyacinthaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, including new combinations and the new tribe Pseudoprospereae", Edinburgh Journal of Botany 60(3): 533-568 (2004) the authors propose sinking this genus into Ledebouria. There are some sources including the Kew monocot checklist and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) checklist that still recognize this genus. Another genera to confuse the issue is Resnova which is included in Ledebouria by some. In a 1997 article by Ute & Dietrich Mueller-Doblies (Feddes Repert. 108: 1-2: 49-96, 1997) these genera are differentiated by ovaries and bulbs. Ledebouria has conical ovaries and bulbs that retain a thick coat of papery dead scales. Both Resnova and Drimiopsis have naked bulbs. Resnova has spreading perianth segments and ovoid to oblong ovaries and Drimiopsis has globose ovaries and permanently closed inner perianth segments.
Drimiopsis atropurpurea N.E.Br. (syn. Drimiopsis purpurea van der Merwe, syn. Ledebouria atropurpurea (N.E.Br.) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt) is native to South Africa from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The photos below were taken by Cody Howard of plants from near Luneberg in KwaZulu-Natal.
Drimiopsis botryoides subsp. botryoides (syn. Drimiopsis kirkii) occurs within the range of the species. The photos below were taken by Nhu Nguyen at the Waimaea Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Hawaii. Photo 3 by Alessandro Marinello.
Drimiopsis maculata syn. Ledebouria petiolata J. C. Manning & Goldblatt (syn. Drimiopsis minor) is an evergreen geophyte found on forest floors and shaded stream banks in eastern southern Africa. Leaves are deeply lobed on slender petioles, with dark green spots and wavy margins. Flowers are in a small compact inflorescence. The buds are white and the flowers grey green. This plant flowers between September and April. It is very easy to grow and is one of the most popular bulb plants. Grow the bulbs in a well drained but organic rich medium (2:1 to 1:1 organic:inorganic works well) and keep it moist during the summer growing season. It does fine with year-round water. The species is winter deciduous and can take light frost but not a hard freeze. Plant in light shade to part sun. Photos 1-2 were taken by Antigoni Rentzeperis of a vigorous clone that usually needs dividing after a few years. Photos 3-4 were taken by Nhu Nguyen.
Drimiopsis maxima Baker see Resnova humifusa.
Drimiopsis sp. was collected by CDR in KwaZulu-Natal, blooming in Harry Hay's gardens in May 2004. Photo by Bob Rutemoeller. This plant was originally acquired and identified as a Ledebouria species, but several people have said that it is a Drimiopsis as the flowers are closed and the petals are not reflexed. Which species is not clear, but Drimiopsis burkei or Drimiopsis maculata were mentioned as possibilities.
Drimiopsis sp. Kampersrus recently came into cultivation from South Africa. Kampersrus is in the northern part of Limpopo Province. The plant is a summer grower. It multiplies readily, but seeds can also be made by selfing the tiny green flowers. Photos by Nhu Nguyen.
Drimiopsis sp. is a diminutive species from the highest crags of the eastern Drakensberg mountains. Note the purplish campanulate corollas in the second image. This one blooms in summer. Submitted by Rogan Roth with photos by Paul Roth.