General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: Leaves form two pleated fan-like arrangements. Sometimes they don't emerge until after the spring flowering
Flowers: Showy
Other: Clusters of small flowers on short pedicels. After blooming the pedicels elongate and the dried clusters break off and act like tumbleweeds
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Bulb
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Toxicity: Roots are poisonous
Other: Used in folk medicine in its native South Africa to treat pain, wounds, and various skin problems
Pollinators: Flies

Common names
  • Bushman Poison
  • Century Plant
  • Tumbleweed
Also sold as:
  • Boophane disticha
  • Boöphone disticha

  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Jan 5, 2012 1:27 AM concerning plant:
    Proportionately large bulbs - 6" + diameter. From south Africa. Introduced in 1774. Flowers first, then leaves. Flower habit is a large umbel (>12" dia.)
    Unusual method of seed distribution - umbel of ripening seedpods on long pedicels separates from stalk and is blown about by the wind; seed is scattered as it rolls.

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