Pseudogaltonia

Pseudogaltonia is a monotypic genus in the Hyacinthaceae family that is similar to Galtonia. J. Manning, P. Goldblatt & M.F. Fay in a "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) propose sinking this genus along with Albuca, Dipcadi, Galtonia, Neopatersonia, and Pseudogaltonia into Ornithogalum. Further work by researchers at SANBI, the Missouri Botanical Garden and Kew has not supported all of these changes and Albuca, Dipcadi, and Pseudogaltonia have been reinstated.


Pseudogaltonia clavata is from the summer rainfall region of Namibia. It produces huge bulbs that look like coconuts. Flowers are white and funnel-shaped. According to Harry Hay who grows this in England, his plants took 21 years from seed before they flowered. Seeds can be treated like any other flat-seeded amaryllids. They germinate easily with warm temperatures. Plants should be grown warm when possible. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the outdoor summer is not warm enough to break winter dormancy for these plants. In order to break their dormancy, water the bulbs and keep them on a warm and sunny windowsill. Once they have broken dormancy, they can be grown outdoors. Keep them well watered with occasional fertilizers throughout the growing season. Keep the medium near completely dry during winter dormancy.

The photos below were taken by Cody Howard near Dordabis, Namibia.

Pseudogaltonia clavata, near Dordabis, Namibia, Cody HowardPseudogaltonia clavata, near Dordabis, Namibia, Cody Howard

Photos 1-2 by Bob Rutemoeller show it flowering in Harry Hay's greenhouse May 2004. See Harry Hay's gardens. The close up of the flowers is taken through the greenhouse window as it was difficult to get close enough otherwise. Photo 3 from Jacob Uluwehi Knecht shows the bulb covered by coconut-like husks and photo 4 from Nhu Nguyen shows the bulb after a few years of growth where it had shed the outer husk.

Pseudogaltonia clavata, Bob RutemoellerPseudogaltonia clavata, Bob RutemoellerPseudogaltonia clavata, Jacob Uluwehi KnechtPseudogaltonia clavata, Nhu Nguyen

The photos below were taken by Nhu Nguyen of the progression of seedlings. Photo 1 shows germinating seeds. Photo 2 shows the seedlings after a few months old. Photo 3 shows the small bulb that started forming. Photos 5-6 show a four-year-old seedling. Perhaps in the California sun it will flower in less than 21 years!

Pseudogaltonia clavata, Nhu NguyenPseudogaltonia clavata, Nhu NguyenPseudogaltonia clavata, Nhu NguyenPseudogaltonia clavata, Nhu NguyenPseudogaltonia clavata, Nhu Nguyen

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