Empodium

Empodium is a genus from Southern Africa in the Hypoxidaceae family that is similar to Hypoxis and Spiloxene. The rootstock is a corm and the flowers are star shaped, yellow inside and green on the outside. Leaves are lance shaped. Many of the species bloom in the fall. Leaves are linear or lanceolate, pleated, dry or green at flowering.


Empodium gloriosum grows on sandy or loamy soil on lower slopes and flats from the southern Cape to the Eastern Cape. It flowers March to June and grows 4 to 20 cm high. Flowers coincide with the leaves. It has tufted lanceolate leaves that are longer than the inflorescence, softly pleated with long narrow tips.


Empodium namaquensis is native to South Africa, and is found on rocky outcrops from Namaqualand to Clanwilliam. It grows to 30 cm and has tufted, broad pleated leaves and yellow lemon scented flowers. Photos by Alessandro Marinello.

Empodium namaquensis, Alessandro MarinelloEmpodium namaquensis, Alessandro MarinelloEmpodium namaquensis, Alessandro Marinello

Empodium plicatum has yellow flowers with one to four deeply pleated leaves that are dry or emerging at flowering. If emerging at flowering they are shorter than the inflorescence, but when mature longer and wider. This species grows in clay and loamy flats or lower slopes in seasonally damp sites from Namaqualand to the Cape peninsula and the southern Cape. The first photo by Bill Dijk and the others taken in the Overberg by Cameron McMaster. Although the photographer was uncertain about the identity of the last two pictures, the only two species that grow in this location are this species and Empodium gloriosum. The flowers are very similar, but since the leaves are not present or shorter at this stage, it is likely that both photos are of Empodium plicatum.

Empodium plicatum, Bill DijkEmpodium plicatum, Napier, Cameron McMasterEmpodium sp., Napier, Cameron McMasterEmpodium sp., Bredasdorp, Cameron McMaster

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Page last modified on October 07, 2010, at 05:49 PM