European And Mediterranean Romuleas

One center of distribution of the genus Romulea is in western Europe and the area around the Mediterranean basin. Species from this area are pictured on this wiki page.


South African Romulea A-D - South African Romulea E-K - South African Romulea L-N - South African Romulea O-S - South African Romulea T-Z - Romulea index


Romulea bulbocodium is found in rocky or sandy places in most part of the Mediterranean basin. The flowers, which are among the largest of the genus, are usually bluish lilac with a yellow center and are shaded purple or green on the outside. A series of photos of this species in habitat in Apulia in Southern Italy, followed by a couple of photos of cultivated plants in open ground in a semi-wild way. Photos by Angelo Porcelli.

Romulea bulbocodium, Angelo PorcelliRomulea bulbocodium, Angelo PorcelliRomulea bulbocodium, Angelo PorcelliRomulea bulbocodium, Angelo PorcelliRomulea bulbocodium, Angelo Porcelli

Photos of seed, the first by M. Gastil-Buhl shows seed from PBS BX 317 #6 on a 1 mm grid; the second by David Pilling.

Romulea bulbocodium seed, M. Gastil-BuhlRomulea bulbocodium seed, David Pilling

A rare pure albino form, without any hint of colour even on the back of tepals. Photo by Angelo Porcelli.

Romulea bulbocodium alba, Angelo PorcelliRomulea bulbocodium alba, Angelo Porcelli

This form was acquired from Jane McGary as Romulea bulbocodium ssp. zahnii. The origin of this plant name is not clear. Photo by Bob Rutemoeller showing the stigma overtopping the stamens which is a feature of this species and photos by Mary Sue Ittner show the colorful back of the tepals and the corms.

Romulea bulbocodium, Bob RutemoellerRomulea bulbocodium back, Mary Sue IttnerRomulea bulbocodium corms, Mary Sue Ittner

Romulea bulbocodium var. bulbocodium is considered by some to be the correct name for a plant known as Romulea bulbocodium var. clusiana or Romulea clusiana by others. It is a large flowered lilac romulea with a deep yellow center from southern Europe. Photo 1 was taken by Bob Rutemoeller and photos 2-3 were taken by Nhu Nguyen. Photo 2 was from the UC Botanical Garden.

Romulea clusiana, Bob RutemoellerRomulea clusiana, UC Botanical Garden, Nhu NguyenRomulea bulbocodium var. bulbocodium, Nhu Nguyen

Romulea bulbocodium var. crocea , sometimes referred to as Romulea crocea or just Romulea bulbocodium is a yellow form from Turkey and Syria where it grows in sandy soils. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner including the corms on a 1 cm grid.

Romulea bulbocodium var. crocea, Mary Sue IttnerRomulea bulbocodium var. crocea, Mary Sue IttnerRomulea bulbocodium var. crocea corms, Mary Sue Ittner

Romulea clusiana is the showiest species of Romulea in the Mediterranean. It has a large, sessile flower purple with deep yellow throat. Distributed in Spain, Portugal and coastal NE. Africa. Flowering in February. Photo taken by Oron Peri of a plant in his collection.

Romulea clusiana, Oron Peri

Romulea columnae has small white or pale lilac pointed flowers with darker veins. This is a very short plant from Europe, Great Britain, and North Africa. This one came in with seed of Crocus corsicus (ex wild) and is photographed by Tony Goode. The second photo by Angelo Porcelli shows the very tiny size of the flower compared to a fingernail.

Romulea columnae, Tony GoodeRomulea columnae, Angelo Porcelli

Romulea engleri photo by Lauw de Jager is of northwest African origin

Romulea engleri, Lauw de Jager

Romulea grandiscapa is called by several different names (syn. Romulea columnae ssp. grandiscapa, syn. Romulea hartungii). It is native to the Canary Islands, purple with a yellow throat, and is easy to grow in cultivation in summer-dry conditions. First photo by Mary Sue Ittner. Second photo by Michael Mace, showing a form that is darker in the throat and almost white at the tepal tips.

Romulea grandiscapa, Mary Sue IttnerRomulea grandiscapa, Michael Mace

Romulea ligustica is found in Sardinia and Liguria and also said to occur on the Western Mediterranean coasts of Northern Africa and Southern Spain. It is a winter flowering species with a lovely soft shade of lilac and pale blue, with a small white throat. A very rewarding species in cultivation, long flowering with several blossoms per corm. Photo 1 by Angelo Porcelli; photo 2 by Oron Peri showing the North African form from Morocco.

Romulea ligustica, Angelo PorcelliRomulea ligustica, Oron Peri

Romulea linaresii is an endemic of Western Sicily (ssp. linaresii). It is found also in the Aegean Islands (ssp. graeca) and in Aethiopia with (ssp. abyssinica). It is similar to Romulea ramiflora but each bract has a membranous margin and the entire flower is violet.


Romulea nivalis Upright growth and smallish flowers are distinctive features of this species. Native of Syria, Lebanon and Israel, it appears soon after snow melts at high elevations. First photo by Tony Goode is rather dark. Photos 2 and 3 were taken in its habitat on Mt. Hermon, North Israel at 2100 m by Oron Peri.

Romulea nivalis, Tony GoodeRomulea nivalis, Oron PeriRomulea nivalis, Oron Peri

Romulea phoenicia is a species from Israel. First two pictures shows plants in the wild. Third from left shows ripening seed capsules. Next is the corm, and seeds on the last picture. All photos by Gideon Pisanty.

Romulea phoenicia growing among rocks in Israel, Gideon PisantyRomulea phoenicia, note the stigma, Gideon PisantyRomulea phoenicia capsules, Gideon PisantyRomulea phoenicia corm, Gideon PisantyRomulea phoenicia seeds in the palm of a hand, Gideon Pisanty

Romulea ramiflora has a rather wide distribution in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Greece. This species has a violet-lilac perianth with darker veins and a yellow throat. The back of the tepals are green and the upper bract has a membranous margin while the lower bract is green. The stigmas are about the same height as the stamens. Photos below are of plants that we were slow to identify correctly. The first grown by Tony Goode shows a plant in cultivation in the UK thought to be Romulea bulbocodium. It seeds around gently in the garden and breeds true. The plants in the next photos were grown from seed exchange and labeled Romulea linaresii and Romulea ramiflora. With the help of Angelo Porcelli we have at last sorted them out. Photo #2 by Bob Rutemoeller. Photos #3-4 by Mary Sue Ittner shows the flower being pollinated the first day it opened and the bracts and the markings on the back. A pbs list member from Southern California reports that this species became invasive in his garden. It has not been a problem in Northern California however. Photograph of corms on a 1 cm grid by M. Gastil-Buhl.

Romulea ramiflora, Tony GoodeRomulea ramiflora, Bob RutemoellerRomulea ramiflora, pollinator, Mary Sue IttnerRomulea ramiflora, back, Mary Sue IttnerRomulea ramiflora corms, M. Gastil-Buhl

Romulea tempskyana is present in the island of Cyprus, also Aegean Islands, Turkey and Palestine. Photos by Alessandro Marinello.

Romulea tempskyana, Alessandro MarinelloRomulea tempskyana, Alessandro MarinelloRomulea tempskyana, Alessandro Marinello

South African Romulea A-D - South African Romulea E-K - South African Romulea L-N - South African Romulea O-S - South African Romulea T-Z - Romulea index


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Page last modified on March 01, 2015, at 06:38 AM