The Q&A Archives: Plant Identification

Question: What is a "Climbing Sea Onion Bowea" ? I saw one with a display of begonias at a local plant show and there was no one around to ask about it.

Answer: The plant in question is a member of the lily family, native to the tropics. It's a bulbous perennial with fleshy, twining, leafless stems and small green to greenish-white flowers. It's often grown in greenhouses as a curiosity. If you grow one, the bulb should be kept dormant from May to early October, then repotted in fresh growing medium. The bulb can be 7" across and the stems can grow to 15" long. The botanical name is Bowiea volubilis, and common names include Climbing Sea Onion and Zulu Potato.

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