Albuca name help. Blue Curls and A. fragrans

Started by petershaw, June 17, 2024, 03:58:07 PM

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I received some Albuca spirals 'Blue Curls' in one of the recent BX (thank you).

I have not found any listings of this cultivar. Does anyone know anything about it?

Albuca fragrans is one that came to me as seed from a SX (thanks again) but I dont see much information on the net or at all on the Wiki. A synonym maybe?




"Blue curls" is just a name attached in the horticutural trade. Are they all the same cultivar or clone across the whole world? Unlikely. They are everywhere in Europe, so there are many, many, many thousands of plants in trade.

A. fragrans - I have not waded through the taxonomic treacle to discover current opinion, but Drimia and Ornithogalum are/have been other genera used for the plant.
It is offered by SA seed merchants and their websites may offer more information.
So far as I recall, I have never seen any description that indicates that the flowers are scented, despite the name.

If you like scented flowers in Albucas - polyphylla (winter-growing) is fabulous, and shawii and humilis are very, very good too.
A 4+ inch pot of polyphylla in flower will scent an entire greenhouse of 10+ cubic metres/yards.
All 3 are small-growing, polyphylla offsets very freely and shawii is very easy from seed. Humilis offsets reasonably freely.
Shawii foliage smells slightly of pine/turpentine if held close to your nose; also very pleasant.

Robin Jangle

Here's some info from "The color encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs" by Manning, Goldblatt and Snijman.

As regards A. spiralis @CG100 is correct - just an unofficial cultivar name.


Thank you both for the information.

A. shawii is one I have and along with Agave shawii are a must have for me (Peter Shaw).



Hello Peter,

I cannot comment on Blue Curls.

But I have been growing Albuca fragrans for some years, originally from Silverhill seed. A beautiful tall late spring flowering plant, about 120cm tall in flower, summer dormant. Hanging yellow flowers with some green, the yellow is dominating. A good potful makes quite a show. Distinct from Albuca clanwilliamigloria which is much taller and which has much larger flowers in pure yellow.
One interesting feature in Albuca fragrans is that the tip of the inflorescence is hanging down as long as it is in bud, it later straightens up. I could never detect any fragrance whatsoever, neither during the day nor at night. Very easy from seed, flowers the second year from seed if well fed. I find that first time blooming bulbs perform best, they tend to decline after flowering, producing lots of offsets. Sets copious amounts of seed. No idea where the name fragrans comes from and no idea if my plant is correctly named.
Algarve, Portugal
350m elevation, frost free
Mediterranean Climate