Pregnant Onion (Albuca bracteata)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Pregnant Onion
Give a thumbs up False Sea Onion
Give a thumbs up Onion Lily
Give a thumbs up Snake Flower
Give a thumbs up Sea Onion
Give a thumbs up German Onion
Give a thumbs up False Kew

Botanical names:
Albuca bracteata Accepted
Ornithogalum longibracteatum Synonym
Ornithogalum caudatum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Green
Other: w/ green stripe
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Bulb
Uses: Provides winter interest
Toxicity: Other: Whole plant is poisonous
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Preferred depth: half buried


Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on May 2, 2014 8:08 PM

This rather curious plant is a South African native usually grown as a houseplant. Some sources maintain the Pregnant Onion can also be grown outside, naming Southern California as a good example for growing outdoors.
Once the bulb reaches a certain size it begins to produce bulbils that grow off the main bulb, hence the "pregnant" part of its common name. The bulb grows above ground with only its roots anchored underground in its native habitat. The bulb can grow to around 5 inches. When it is grown as a houseplant, the top half is left free of soil. Seldom needs re-potting.The long strap-like leaves can attain a yard in length. Periodically, a flower stalk is produced, It can reach 60 inches and produce multiple (up to a hundred) small green-striped, white fragrant flowers that form a spike on the stalk.

[ 1 reply | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Unknown Plant - possible nick name "Pregnant Onion" by Cici21c Apr 28, 2020 12:07 PM 2
Bulb identification by Danacarl Oct 22, 2019 6:33 AM 9
Onion/bamboo like plant with large sticky white bulbs by Strwbrylightbulb Feb 13, 2019 2:23 PM 3
Albuca bracteata 'Pregnant Onion' by needrain Oct 23, 2018 5:35 PM 5
A sweet surprise from my plant! (and 1 question pls!) by sabigrows Apr 6, 2019 6:50 AM 5
What succulents/plants do I own? Trying to save my babies! by sabigrows Apr 6, 2018 7:18 PM 12
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero Sep 22, 2020 2:34 PM 8,615
Fall Bloomers by Bubbles Oct 18, 2017 3:17 PM 15
Help with a list of succulents! by pachyfeel Jun 2, 2017 12:06 PM 41
Plant ID by carlysuko Mar 4, 2017 10:13 AM 6

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by chhari55 and is called "Adenium"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.