Drimia is a genus in the Hyacinthaceae family (or expanded Asparagaceae family) of bulbous plants that are deciduous or rarely evergreen. Bulbs are small or large, subterranean or epigeal. The one or more leaves are often dry at flowering. The inflorescence is a single to many flowered raceme with short lived (usually lasting less than a day, rarely two days, but with one to three blooms each day) white to yellowish green or brown flowers often with darker keels, erect to nodding but always erect in fruit.
In A revised generic synopsis of Hyacinthaceae in sub-Saharan Africa (2004) Manning et.al. included a number of genera in this genus once separated as other genera. Some of these were monotypic genera with species formerly included in other genera (Ledurgia, Boosia, Geschollia) and a couple had two species (Ebertia, Rhadamanthopsis). Others with more species that were included: Urginavia, Indurgia, Thuranthos. They included the Mediterranean, North African and western Asiatic species formerly in Urginea in Drimia but not everyone agrees. African genera once separated as Litanthus, Rhadamanthus, Schizobasis and Tenicroa are now included in Drimia. This breakdown includes about 100 species in Africa, Madagascar, the Mediterranean area and Asia, with 50 species in southern Africa. These plants are common in seasonally dry or semi-arid regions and many of them flower in late spring or summer regardless of the rainfall pattern. The African species are not generally cultivated because their flowers are not very spectacular and do not last very long.
Seeds of Drimia are reported to be ephemeral lasting 6-12 months. However, since the genus Drimia is now expanded to include many previous genera, this information may not hold true. Fresh seeds are always better. They should be sown just prior the appropriate growing season, in a well-drained mix with plenty of moisture.
Photos of a few of the species in the different groups showing some of the variations in the flowers are shown below.
For more photos and information select the appropriate wiki page of one of the Drimia groups in the expanded genus:
or click on the species name in the table below :