Family: Asparagaceae (liliaceae, according to previous classifications)
Habitat: Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
Cultivation: Choose a very draining soil and watered with parsimony especially in spring and summer, when the plant is in vegetative rest. At the end of summer / autumn, with the ticking of the leaves, resume regular watering.
Curiosity: There are two theories about the origins of the name Albuca: according to some, it comes from Latin albus, that is white, and comes from the color of the flowers of the first species described in this genus. Others point out that Albucus is, in Latin, the name of a similar plant – the Asphodel.
ALBUCA KEY FEATURES
Albuca’s genus are herbaceous plants from Africa and Arabia, some of them can be part of succulent plants for their bulbs from which the stems come out. They are small plants (max 10-15 cm.), with green, herbaceous stems, that come out from the bulb. Their most peculiar feature is the shape of these stems that endi with a leaf that tends to curl up and take on particular forms. In fact, it is not easy to distinguish the end of the stem and the beginning of the leaf, so it looks like that the stem itself curls. This effect is evident especially in the few cultivated species, especially in Albuca spiralis. The flowers are small, bell-shaped, with colors ranging from white ,yellow to greenish. They are very pretty though not flashy and have a light and pleasing scent.
VARIETIES AND TYPES
The Albuca genus consists in total of about fifty species. Among these, the cultivated ones are:
- Albuca namaquensis
- A. spiralis
TIPS FOR GROWING
Albuca’s plants are widely used for rock gardens, which give them a lively and unusual appearance. Here are our cultivation tips:
- EXPOSURE: Choose a position in full sun, but sheltered by direct rays in the hottest hours of the day.
- TEMPERATURE: It also resists short frosts, even up to -5 ° C. This feature makes it very suitable for outdoor cultivation in not very rigid climates.
- WATERING: Originating from the other hemisphere, it is a sleeping species in the summer. Water moderately in spring and summer and begin with regular watering in autumn, with the coming out of new leaves.
- SOIL: The risk of rotting of the bulb is very high and for this reason, in addition to being careful with the watering, it is necessary to choose a very draining soil, rich in inert.
- CONCIMATION: Concimate only once a year, just at the beginning of spring.
- REPOT: Once housed, the bulbs do not have, in general, need of repotting.
- REPRODUCTION: The seeds generally germinate after a week without any particular difficulty if left in a slightly damp soil and in a warm and moderately bright place. As a method for propagation, the division of the bushes can also be used, which has the advantage of giving plants already grown.