Burchardia is a small genus in the Colchicaceae family from Australia with five species that have root tubers attached to a compact corm-like stem. The root tubers are replaced annually. The leaves are few and linear and the mostly white star-like flowers are arranged in an umbel. Plants are dormant in summer and flower in spring. Although the species Burchardia umbellata was once considered to be both in southwestern Western Australia and throughout much of southern Australia, G..J. Keighery and W. Muir in Nuytsia, 2005 separated the eastern and western plants reinstating Burchardia congesta for the species names of the plants found in Western Australia.
Burchardia congesta Lindl. is native to southwestern Western Australia where it grows in dry woodland, forests and scrub-heath. Scapes are usually unbranched, about 20-30 cm high with 4 to 10 creamy to white flowers in an umbel. Anthers are yellow. Photos taken September 2007 in southwestern Australia by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.
Burchardia multiflora grows in southwestern Western Australia in moist areas on larger granite outcrop aprons and swamps of seasonally wet areas usually occurring in sandy soils and growing in the protection of small shrubs. It is very similar to the species described below except for larger cauline leaves on the flowering scape. It has purple anthers and white flowers. Photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner north of Albany, southwestern Australia, September 2007.
Burchardia umbellata has 2 to six white flowers and is found throughout southern Australia where it is found in heathland, grassland, and open forests where it grows in many types of soil. It has fragrant flowers. It has purple anthers and white tepals. Flowers are up to 2 cm. across. The first photo was taken October 2007 near Apollo Bay, Victoria, by Mary Sue Ittner. The rest of the photos were taken by Dirk Wallace