Return to the South African Native Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Unusual SA Bulbs

Posted by Garrickza South Africa (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 25, 03 at 16:54

Anyone growing these S.A. bulbs? Pictures at the link below , go to the gallery and select the alphabetical listing.

Geissorhiza radians
Geissorhiza tulbaghensis
Homeria elegans
Homeria comptonii
Lapeirousia jacqinii
Lapeirousia corymbosa


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Unusual SA Bulbs

Not yet, for me. I will be ordering Geissorhiza radians 'Winecup' (outer petal blue-violet, inner petal red with a white-centered black dot and thin white line between the blue and red) for fall planting. Here in southern California a very common planting is Tulbaghia, Society garlic. Some detest the smell of it, I love it, very skunky. I didn't know there were others and can't wait to grow T.simmeri, both lavender and alba forms which have sweetly fragrant flowers.

RE: Unusual SA Bulbs

The Geissorhiza tulbaghensis bulb has no resemblance to the garlic Tulbaghia Wild Garlic plant. The wild garlic is quite usefull for planting near fragarant flowers as it is supposed to enhance the fragrance of the other flower by sort of competing with it , I dont know this is a proven fact though. They are available with purple flowers (the common one) , white flowers (Silver Lace ) and also the purple one with a variegated foliage.

The garlic smell is also supposed to discourage certain garden pests and can be used as an organic insecticide.

The bulb with Tulbagh in its name just happen to originate from the same area as the wild garlic namely Tulbagh in the Western Cape , a truly lovely place.

The G.radians which you are going to buy is amazingly beautiful!

RE: Unusual SA Bulbs

I have grown Tulbaghia violacea for some years, both in the straight version and Silver Lace. Massive root systems for a relatively small top growth; instead of forming a true bulb I guess. Incidentally Silver Lace as available in the UK has the normal violet flowers. I have nor seen a white form of this species. A few other species are available here, and 1 or 2 supposed hybrids.


RE: Unusual SA Bulbs

The ones you are asking about are mostly grown by a small handful of SA bulb "nuts". The Pacific Bulb Society is a group of such nuts and we have a "Bulb Excchange" (BX) where people send in their extra bulbs or seeds for distribution for a mere pitence.
I have only a Homeria (which is a weed in So CA) but mine is a pure light yellow.
The others are grown (and sold) by Jim Duggan in San Diego/ Encinitas. I saw some of his Geissorhiza radians and one other Geissorhiza blooming earlier this year. It was a very interesting combination. He also lists several Lapeirousia spp.
I do have a nice collection of a few Tulbaghia spp. Not any of the T. violacea. They are too common for my taste and I am not fond of the smell they leave on my hands when I worrk with them. Dave Fenwick has an incredible SA web page with a nice collection of Tulbaghias as well.

John Ingram

RE: Tulbaghia

Thanks John for mentioning me.

Just to let you all know that there is a comprehensive photo gallery of Tulbaghia as well other South African bulbs on my website at

The specific Tulbaghia link is

I've only just realised that this forum exists, I'm glad I've found it, and look forward to contributing more in the future.

Interests- South African Bulbs of course.

Always interested in swapping or exchanging seed.

Best Wishes,
Dave Fenwick (Plymouth, UK)

Here is a link that might be useful: The African Garden

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the South African Native Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here