Namaqualand is an arid area in northwest South Africa. Although it is a winter rainfall area, rainfall is sparse and the plants found in this area are not included in some of the books illustrating South African bulbs since it is not considered to be part of the Cape Floral province. For most of the year the land appears to be a desert and because it has an average annual rainfall of 50-400 mm it could be classified as such. But in a year with adequate rainfall it becomes alive with an amazing floral display of annuals, bulbs, dwarf shrubs, and succulents. Flowering usually occurs in August and September, but dry winds which halt the display can end it sooner. In a year with little rainfall there are few flowers. Summers are hot and dry but there is occasional fog since the ocean is not that far away. Photos on this page taken in Namaqualand. More information about the plants seen on this page can by found on the wiki genus pages. Links are included to make it easier to go directly to these pages. Species from A-F, Albuca to Ferraria, are pictured below.
Albuca canadensis, syn. Albuca maxima is found on rocky slopes. Photos taken September 2006 by Bob Rutemoeller.
Albuca dilucula (Oberm.) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt, formerly known as Ornithogalum diluculum Oberm., grows to 25 cm. tall with a solitary spreading leaf that is dry at flowering. Photos from Andrew Harvie taken northeast of Springbok.
Albuca longipes grows in dry silty loam in karroid scrub from the Richtersveld to Biedouw Valley. Photos were taken by Andrew Harvie near Springbok.
Albuca secunda formerly known as Ornithogalum secundum is found on stony slopes and flats. Photos taken in habitat by Andrew Harvie northwest of Steinkopf.
Albuca sp. photos by Mary Sue Ittner. Looking at the Namaqualand field guide she wondered if this could be Albuca suaveolens, syn. Ornithogalum suaveolens, but there are many species of Albuca and Ornithogalum in Namaqualand and only a small proportion were illustrated. It has been suggested to be Albuca semipedalis. The only information that she has been able to discover about that species is that it is in the same grouping as Albuca suaveolens along with 12 other species, all characterized by leaves several, erect, not spirally twisted, usually acuminate.
Albuca spiralis Photo taken by Andrew Harvie in the Kamiesberg.
Albuca unifolia is native to Southern Africa from Southern Namibia through Namaqualand, Bushmanland and Roggeveld to the Tanqua Karoo and western Little Karoo where it grows in arid areas, deep sands, granite outcrops and quartz gravel plains. Photo below was taken by John Grimshaw from Kamieskroon, Northern Cape, flowering at Colesbourne.
Babiana curviscapa is a species found in Namaqualand in flat sandy places. The first photo was taken August 2001 not too far from the road. The second was taken September 2006. Photos 1-2 taken by Mary Sue Ittner. Photos 3-4 were taken by Cameron McMaster September 2011 near Kamieskroon. The last photo also from Cameron McMaster.
Babiana dregei is found in rock crevices on hills and mountain slopes on sandy stony soil in central Namaqualand. Photos 1-5 taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner September 2006. Photo 6 taken by Cameron McMaster September 2011.
Babiana flabellifolia grows in doleritic clay outcrops in rock cracks where it is protected from the predators. The range of this species is from northern Namaqualand south to the Bokkeveld Plateau. Photos taken by Alan Horstmann southeast of Garies and north of Concordia in July.
Babiana torta grows in crevices in granite outcrops or granitic gravel flowering May to June. The first photo from iNaturalist taken by Kevin Murray in July and shared under a CC BY-NC license. The next two photos taken in September 2007 by Mary Sue Ittner of the distinctive leaves and of seed pods.
Bulbine spp. Two unidentified species photographed by Mary Sue Ittner.
Bulbinella cauda-felis (L.f.) T.Durand & Schinz is widespread in the winter rainfall area of South Africa, growing on sandstone, granite, or clay. The first photo taken near Kamieskroon in Namaqualand by Cameron McMaster. Photos two and three were taken in Namaqualand by Mary Sue Ittner
Bulbinella ciliolata occurs in the vicinity of Springbok and Kamieskroon where it grows in broken veld on sandy loams of the granite hills, especially in damper depressions or by streamlets. Photo taken by Andrew Harvie of a plant growing on a farm in the Kamiesberg.
Bulbinella latifolia ssp. latifolia The first picture was taken by Mary Sue Ittner on a rainy day in a wet year (August 2001) in Namaqua National Park where it was growing in a very wet place. Other flowers were closed because of the weather, so it really stood out. The next five photos were taken in the Kamiesberg in 2006 by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.
Chlorophytum crassinerve is a Northern Cape species growing to 40 cm that blooms August to October. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster near Carolusberg August 2011.
Crinum variabile is a species that grows in seasonal streams. Photos were taken in habitat on the road to Studer's Pass, Kamiesberg, by Andrew Harvie.
Crocosmia fucata is endemic to Namaqualand and is found in only a few places in locally moist habitats. Photos below were taken by Cameron McMaster November 2009 near Kamieskroon showing the habitat, leaves, and flowers.
Drimia multifolia, syn. Tenicroa multifolia is found on rocks and poorly drained soils from southern Namibia into the western Karoo and the southwest Cape. Photos taken by Andrew Harvie in the Kamiesberg.
Eriospermum paradoxum (Jacq.) Ker Gawl. is a widespread species distributed from Namaqualand south and east to Grahamstown where it grows in sandy and clay soils. Photo of the leaves of multiple plants taken near Kamieskroon by Cameron McMaster.
Eucomis regia photographed September 2006 by Bob Rutemoeller.
Ferraria variabilis, syn. Ferraria divaricata subsp. australis and Ferraria divaricata subsp. divaricata is found on sandy and shale flats and rock outcrops from Namibia to the southern Cape and the Little Karoo. Photos 1-2 taken near Springbok by Andrew Harvie. Photos 3-4 taken by Cameron McMaster near Knersvlakte September 2011.