Caesia

Caesia is a genus of herbs in the family Asphodelaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, native to Australia, New Guinea, Madagascar and Southern Africa. The mostly 3-lobed seed capsules contain pear shaped seeds with a small white aril. The South African species can be easily mistaken for Chlorophytum species, but that genus has seeds that are angular or flattened. Ants disperse the seeds of Caesia spp.


Caesia capensis (Bolus) Oberm. is a rare evergreen rhizomatous geophyte to 8 cm, forming compact cushions. It occurs on sandstone rocks at high elevations in the Westerm Cape and Karoo mountains of South Africa, flowering October to January. Leaves are linear, grass like and the white to pale blue short lived flowers occur singly on a short stem hidden in leaves. The photo from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Caesia capensis, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

Caesia contorta (L.f.) T.Durand & Schinz is a South African species found mainly on sandstone slopes from Namaqualand to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It is an evergreen rhizomatous geophyte that forms spawling tussocks from 15 to 30 cm with nodding short lived blue flowers in a lax raceme. Filaments are banded with dark blue. The first two photos are from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok. The next three from Andrew Harvie and the last photographed by Cameron McMaster in the Eastern Cape.

Caesia contorta, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-VlokCaesia contorta, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-VlokCaesia contorta, Andrew HarvieCaesia contorta, Andrew HarvieCaesia contorta, Andrew HarvieCaesia contorta, Cameron McMaster

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